Can you help? Project managers, data analysts & legal beagles needed!

Here at Team NDP, we could do with MORE help from the good folks of the parish if we’re going to make this plan happen.  


Are you a bit of a super-hero with a little bit of time on your hands?

Do you have skills to offer as a project manager? Maybe you’ve got planning or legal expertise?

Or, perhaps you have number-crunching data skills? Are you any good at analysing information?

Whatever your skill set, we’d like to hear from you.

Please do drop us a line at

We welcome support from all corners of this splendid parish.

Thanks !

Chairman’s Progress Update: Jan 2017

If you don’t generally read our NDP Updates in the Parish Newsletter – why not take a read of our Chairman Barry Worth’s most recent (Jan 2017) update below. 

Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Public Open Meeting

There was a well-attended Public Open Meeting in the Sutton Benger Village Hall on Wednesday the 23rd November 2016.  Parishioners were updated with regard to the data collected during the NDP Survey and also the way in which the NDP will be completed and the likely timescale.  The presentation is available at:, a hard copy of the presentation is available in the Sutton Benger Post Office. 

 The NDP has made extremely good and positive progress during 2016 and the Core Team is confident that work towards completion will accelerate during 2017.  We are preparing the Plan in accordance with guidance from Wiltshire Council and frequent contact is made with the Wiltshire Council NDP Link Officer.  We last met during December and it was confirmed that the data collected and work completed so far is excellent.  

 Although further information is required, the Core Team is confident that the NDP will be in draft format by 31 December 2017.  

Volunteers Needed 

However, two further volunteers are required to join the Core Team being a Project Manager and an Administrator.  Information regarding both roles is available from The Core Team who can be contacted via:

We are extremely grateful for the on-going support of our Parishioners and welcome questions and comments as they may arise.  Please address any such items to:

Baz Worth


NDP Core Team

17 January 2017

SHLAAs Explained: What are they? And what do they do?

At our recent NPD Update Meeting for the Parish (Nov 23rd 2016), many people were unaware of what a ‘Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)’ is…

As this is a very important document, we thought we’d help to explain what it is and what it’s used for (in the context of our own NDP).

What is the purpose of the assessment of land availability?

(This text has been taken from the Planning Guidance website – and is therefore taken directly from a Government source).

An assessment of land availability identifies a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the plan period. The assessment of land availability includes the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) requirement as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

The assessment of land availability is an important step in the preparation of Local Plans (i.e., our own NDP).  The National Planning Policy Framework identifies the advantages of carrying out land assessments for housing and economic development as part of the same exercise, in order that sites may be allocated for the use which is most appropriate.

An assessment should:

This approach ensures that all land is assessed together as part of Plan preparation to identify which sites or broad locations are the most suitable and deliverable for a particular use.


NDP Response to decision regarding planning for the site at Arms Farm

October 5th 2016

From our NDP Chairman Baz Worth – in response to today’s decision regarding Arms Farm:

A decision was made today (OCT 5 2016) by Wiltshire Council’s Planning Committee (by a majority vote of 4 to 2) that the proposal for 14 dwellings at Arms Farm will go through. We are also aware that this decision goes directly against the wishes of the Arms Farm Working Group and (from what we know) the vast majority of people who live close to or near the Arms Farm site.

The NDP Team does not have the power to overturn these planning decisions. However, we are here to capture, analyse and demonstrate the wishes of the majority of the Parish – and this is precisely what we will be doing once we’ve analysed the recent Parish Survey data. We would therefore like you all to be aware that the NDP team prepared a statement to be read (and taken into consideration) at the Planning Meeting today. The statement reads as follows:

“The NDP Core Group has engaged with the community at several Parish meetings and has recently managed the delivery of a Parish Questionnaire. The findings of this survey show clearly that the majority of Sutton Benger Parish residents are opposed to the development of green belt land for housing, with 49.7% of respondents saying that there is never a justification to build on green field sites.

The Core Group will continue the work to develop a full Neighbourhood Development Plan for formal consultation. However we now feel that there are already clear findings on the wishes of the majority of the community with regards to this type of development in the parish.

We therefore request that the Planning Committee takes this into account in reaching their decision on the planning application before them today.”

The Core Team will continue to progress the NDP through to completion and are grateful for the help of all of those Parishioners who have so willingly given their time to assist.

The BIG Parish Questionnaire will be through your door this week!

Over the next few days you should receive a copy or two of the NDP Questionnaire through your door. We hope to have one Questionnaire completed by everyone in the Parish of age 18 or over.

Please note that the Questionnaire can be completed as delivered or accessed on-line by clicking on this link  Sutton Benger online NDP Survey . If you are able to complete on-line then please do that.

Your participation within the NDP is vital to the future of our Parish, please take the time necessary to complete the Questionnaire as carefully as you are able to and, if completing the paper copy, deliver it to the Sutton Benger Post Office as soon as you are able to but not later than the 5th September 2016. There will be a box within the Post Office for completed Questionnaires.

If you need any help, or have any questions, then please contact Baz Worth (01249) 721133 or Paul Chartier (01249) 721499.

Baz Worth
NDP Core Team
17 July 2016

NDP Progress Update – June 2016


The following text appears in the latest Parish newsletter. In case you’ve missed it, you can read it here!

Dear Residents & Others

As reported in the May issue of the Parish News, a questionnaire is currently being prepared that will be distributed to all Parishioners before the end of July 2016. We apologise for the delay of one month in having the questionnaire circulated. The Core Team, working with the Parish Council, must however ensure that the document is effective in collecting the information required to prepare a robust NDP.

Please complete the questionnaire and then deposit it into the NDP Post Box that will be in the Sutton Benger Post Office. The deadline for completion is the 31st August 2016.

The data collected will form the backbone of the NDP that must reflect the will of the whole Parish. I cannot stress enough how important it is for all residents to complete the questionnaire.

Other than working on the questionnaire, the Core Team is currently working to provide highly detailed plans and drawings of the Parish and hope to have these completed before the end of July. We are delighted to have enlisted the help of a Parishioner who is able to complete the work required on a voluntary basis. With the help of Wiltshire Council, we are attempting to establish the owners of undeveloped land and particularly that which was identified within the Wiltshire Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), 2012. We hope to meet with the Land Owners and/or their Agents before the end of September 2016. The SHLAA can be seen at the following Internet address:

Additionally, we are currently investigating Parish Heritage and hope to have that element of the NDP completed by the 30th September 16.

As previously reported, The NDP will be to the ultimate benefit of the whole of the Parish and your input is essential.  Preparation of the NDP is a significant undertaking and the Core Team has been advised that it can take approximately two years to complete. We commenced working on the Sutton Benger NDP in September 2015 and are pleased to report that we are making excellent progress.

Should you want to be kept informed via e-mail then please register at: (or via the Parish Clerk).

(The NDP is registered as a ‘data controller’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. We take our data protection responsibilities seriously and we will make sure that your email addresses are only used to send you the questionnaire and for keeping you informed about the progress of the NDP)

Baz Worth


NDP Core Team

17 June 2016


Official approval received on Sutton Benger Parish NPD application

You will be pleased to know that the Sutton Benger Parish NDP is now officially ‘designated’ by Wiltshire Council. This means we can start some serious (hard) work in 2016!

Here is their official  decision:



Sutton Benger Parish Council


Application for the Designation of Sutton Benger Parish Neighbourhood Area

Pursuant to the Wiltshire Council constitution and in particular Part 3B the Service Director for Economic Development and Planning within whose remit Spatial Planning falls is authorised to consider the area designation applications for Neighbourhood Plans and if appropriate approve applications.


The Designation of Sutton Benger Parish Neighbourhood Area is approved in accordance with section 61G of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended for the purposes of Neighbourhood Planning. The reasons for this decision are set out in the accompanying ‘Neighbourhood Area Designation Application Report’.


Alistair Cunningham
Associate Director
Economic Development and Planning

Dated: 09.12.15

Sutton Benger Parish NDP Draft Vision and Objectives

At our Public Meeting (held on November 23rd 2015), the NDP Core Team circulated the Draft NPD Vision and Objectives.  

These were the views of the Core Group based on the comments made at the public meeting held on September 30th, particularly from the SWOT analysis. The Vision and Objectives are a key legal component of the NDP process. As such what has been drafted and put to this meeting needs to be reviewed, with modifications suggested, by as many people in the Parish. The deadline for comment is 31 January 2016.

Our Vision (Draft)

  • We wish to maintain the vitality of a vibrant village community and make it a better place to live and work for all age groups and for future generations.
  • We want community-led development that will maintain the character of Sutton Benger Parish, support the local economy, and provide high quality accommodation with a housing mix to meet the requirements for the ages and needs for all of our community.
  • We want the opportunity to plan for future development. We want a greater say about where, how, what and when development occurs in our community.
  • We want to protect the village Conservation Area and Listed Buildings and to protect and enhance the heritage, farmland and wildlife of the area.

iStock_000016259260SmallObjectives (Draft)

  1. Develop plans for sensitive housing development in the Sutton Benger Parish area, all within the constraints of recent developments in Sutton Benger and the Wiltshire Core Strategy for a large village. This to include the site, location(s) and types of new homes to ensure that all developments meet local needs for the elderly, young single people, couples and families who wish to remain in the Parish.
  2. Preserve the historic character of Sutton Benger village and Draycot Cerne, its conservation area, listed and historic buildings and maintain and improve assets of community value.
  3. Maintain and improve infrastructure services for existing and new residents.
  4. Maintain and enhance all of the village leisure and sporting facilities, current green areas, and rights of way.
  5. Improve road traffic safety and transport services.
  6. Develop plans with the relevant authorities to prevent or minimise the flood risk, and where possible, minimise the environmental impact of climate change on water resources.
  7. Maintain and enhance the economic structure to ensure that Sutton Benger Parish is able to support local businesses of different types.
  8. Assess the need for retail provisions and propose suitable locations.

We welcome and actively encourage feedback from all parts of the Parish on this draft Vision and Objectives. Don’t forget – the deadline for comment is 31st January 2016.

Notes from the Public Open Meeting – 8 PM, Monday 23rd November 2015

Sutton Benger Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)

Public Open Meeting – 8 PM, Monday 23rd November 2015

The meeting was held in Sutton Benger Village Hall and was attended by 38 members of the Parish of Sutton Benger.

The meeting progressed through the following Agenda:

  1. Welcome (Barry Worth)
  1. Why we are here & brief recap of the NDP process (Hugh Bellars)
  1. Themes emerging from 30th September meeting, numbers of responses etc. (Barry Worth)
  1. Initial Scope of NDP – the draft Vision and Objectives (Paul Chartier)
  1. Call for volunteers for the sub-groups (Kathy Smedley)
  1. What next (Joanna Watchman)

During various parts of the meeting, the following issues were discussed:

Vision and Objectives

A copy of the draft vision and objectives was circulated. These were the views of the Core Group based on the comments made at the September meeting, particularly from the SWOT analysis. The Vision and Objectives are a key legal component of the NDP process. As such what has been drafted and put to this meeting needs to be reviewed, with modifications suggested, by as many people in the Parish. To this end the draft version is here with a deadline for comment of 31 January 2016.

Proposed Sub-groups – Points Raised by Attendees

A document was circulated with some draft ideas of different sub-groups, together with some possible areas of research put in the form of questions that might need to be addressed. The groups were:

  1. Youth Groups & Schools
  2. Land Owners
  3. Parish Housing Requirements in Accordance with Wilts Core Strategy
  4. Roads, Pavements, Street Lighting, Traffic Density, Maintenance & Tidiness
  5. Parish Businesses & Surgery (Non-Farming or Significant Land Owners)
  6. Flooding & Drainage
  7. Infrastructure
  8. Project Planning

Everyone was invited to review and comment on the groups and the questions. What follows are the points raised by those present with responses shown afterwards, in red.

  1. Recreation groups should be consulted

Noted, the Core Group agreed that Recreation Groups will be consulted.

Elderly & retired to be considered

Noted, the Core Group agreed that the Elderly & Retired Members of the Parish will be consulted.

  1. Variety of housing to be considered, likely current shortage of smaller units

The Voluntary Group who will be analysing the Housing Stock across the Parish will consider this issue

  1. We need to use, or loose, our public bus service

Noted, the Core Group agreed that this issue would be considered whilst looking at transport issues throughout the Parish.

  1. Consider employment opportunities, especially for the young

Noted, the Core Group agreed that this issue will be considered whilst looking at Businesses & Employment Opportunities within the Parish.

  1. Turning into and out of Draycot Cerne very dangerous, especially as road becomes busier with expansion of Chippenham

Noted, this is an issue for the Highways Group to consider.

  1. Questions must not be ‘loaded’

Noted and agreed.

  1. Do we have a link officer at Wiltshire Council?

Yes, the Core Group are in regular contact with Wiltshire Council and have a nominated Link Officer who is keeping in close contact and has met with the Core Group.

  1. Will our documents & evidence contain an analysis as to the current status of housing etc.?

Yes, all matters that are considered within the NDP must have a ‘baseline’ or ‘starting- point’.

  1. We have a very untidy high street


  1. Great start but suggest you gather evidence visiting the village pubs & coffee shop

Noted & evidence will be gathered from all areas possible.

  1. Is there a risk from there being too few stakeholders?

Yes, that is why the Core Group are enlisting the help of volunteers and are also casting the net as widely as possible. There are approximately 1,000 residents across the Parish as well as many businesses and landowners. The Core Group would like to see all involved within the NDP process, if at all possible.

  1. Go to the Wellesley on a Sunday night and seek comments


  1. What is the process?

Hugh Bellars re-explained the process through to formal adoption by Wiltshire Council. Also refer to:

  1. Is the NDP process of value whilst it is underway and incomplete?

Yes, the Core Team has been informed that potential developers do take note that the NDP is underway.

  1. Once the NDP is completed, does it have the weight of the law behind it?

Yes, most certainly.

  1. What happens when Wiltshire Council already have agreed plans?

The NDP must take cognisence of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and effectively work in harmony with that. The NDP may however influence the type, tenure, size and location of houses that will be provided.

  1. Hydrogen highway / energy infrastructure?

Noted, this needs to be investigated, possibly by the Infrastructure Group.

  1. Email addresses & website, how can these be accessed?

All emails will be managed through the NDP website and website e-mail address.

  1. Concern regarding email security etc.

Noted, the Core Group takes the issue of data-security very seriously and has registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).   Individual email addresses will be controlled and subject to our registration under the Data Protection Act. No-one receiving emails should be able to see the addresses of others in the Parish. But the NDP does need a master list.

It is acknowledged that e-mail systems cannot be guaranteed to be secure but every possible measure is being taken to ensure the NDP systems are as secure as possible.  

21.  There will be an NDP Postbox and information folder kept in the Post Office


  1. We will need a detailed street plan of the Parish

Noted and there is a volunteer on hand who is helping with this issue.

  1. Commuters resident in Sutton Benger should have a voice

Noted, the Core Team will cast their net as wide as possible to seek information from all residents, businesses and others within the Parish.



Volunteers were sought to commence the formation of the Sub-Groups (listed above).

A number of volunteers had made themselves known prior to the meeting with more coming forward during discussions. Given the number of previous volunteers, more folk are required to participate in the sub-groups and will be welcomed into the NDP process.

The Core Team closed the meeting by stating that the Volunteers will be contacted during January 2016 when it is intended to commence work on much of the data gathering that is required.

Baz Worth


27 November 2015