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Five year land fiasco - "We didn't see it coming" admits Sturgis

August 17, 2020 9:29 PM

In reply to a question from Cllr Steve Oldrieve, Toby Sturgis, the cabinet member for planning at Wiltshire Council, has admitted that neither he nor his officers twigged that a planning failure had occurred at the council until a planning inspector brought it to their attention.

The lack of a five year supply of building land tilts the balance heavily towards developers in deciding where to build in the county, and away from the council and local communities.

A slightly more competent administration would of course have noticed such an important event, and a slightly more competent administration than that would've prevented it from happening in the first place.

Here's the dialogue:

From Councillor Steve Oldrieve to Councillor Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Property

Question: When did you become aware of Wiltshire Council's failure to be able to demonstrate a 5-year plan supply?

Response: The ability for the Council to demonstrate a five-year land supply came into question during the Purton Road appeal, which took place in February and was confirmed in the Inspector's decision, received on 6 April 2020.

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For more information see previous story on Neighbourhood Planning.