Fears about 'unlimited' numbers of houses being built in Chippenham have been raised by the town council over the latest consultation round over the Core Strategy being prepared by Wiltshire Council.

Last year the Wiltshire Core Strategy, developed with communities over the last five years, was scrutinised at public hearing sessions and modifications were put forward.

Wiltshire says Chippenham should have a minimum of at least 4,510 houses built in coming years but the town council says this has not been "adequately justified" and cannot be supported by the existing road network or other services.

In a statement Coun Peter Hutton, vice-chairman of the town council's planning committee said: “Chippenham Town Council considers itself to be a proactive and responsible planning consultee representing the views of its local community and engages with a wide variety of partners and organisations to ensure a positive future for the development of the town.

"Whilst the town council continues to be supportive of an appropriate and sustainable scale of growth, councillors are concerned about the impact the potential of unlimited housing numbers could have on future resources, the current highways infrastructure and the ability to deliver quality services to its local residents.

“The [town] council wants the revised Core Strategy to take into account that any future development needs to demonstrate a positive outcome for both the new and existing communities, therefore delivering the needs and the aspirations of the town council and its residents.

"The National Planning Policy Framework states that key planning documents ‘should provide a practical framework within which decisions on planning applications can be made with a degree of predictability and efficiency.’

"The town council’s response stated that this cannot be achieved with the proposed amendments, which stipulate a minimum number of houses thereby embedding unpredictability in terms of numbers and inefficiency in terms of the planning authority having to defend against speculative applications from developers.

"The town council planning committee did not find Wiltshire Council’s proposals for Chippenham to have a minimum number of houses of at least 4,510 to be sound, as they felt this was not adequately justified or effective for delivering properly planned development."