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Councillors in Mere have expressed concern that planned changes in Wiltshire will see the town switched from the Salisbury area to the Trowbridge area when it comes to assessing local housing supply needs in the coming two decades.

This could potentially make a huge difference because while the Salisbury area is assessed as needing only an additional 250 homes between now and 2036 on top of the 8,000 already built or committed, in the Trowbridge area that figure is 7,000 additional homes.

And by including Mere in what is known as the Trowbridge Housing Market Area, it could mean the town will have to build a greater number of new homes in the future to help meet its share of that 7,000 target.

Addressing councillors on Monday 4 December, Mere Town Council chairman Councillor John Jordan said: ‘We are moving from an area that needs 250 houses to an area that needs 7,000 houses. I think that has quite a profound implication. If we were to contribute our corner to Salisbury…..a  part of 250 houses, that sounds quite manageable.

‘To contribute our part towards Trowbridge which has a need for 7,000 houses, sounds to me to be on a completely different scale.’

The council is to write to Wiltshire Council over the changes contained in what is known as the Swindon and Wiltshire Joint Spatial Framework – which runs parallel to the changes in the Local Plan – to argue ‘forcibly’ that Mere should be included in the Housing Market Area for Salisbury.

Councillors point out the town has far stronger historical and social links with Salisbury than with the Trowbridge area.

Members of the public who want to take part in the consultation can do so online here. Representation forms can also be returned by email to spatialplanningpolicy@wiltshire.gov.uk; or by post in writing to: Spatial Planning, Economic Development & Planning, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JN.

The consultation documents can be viewed during normal opening hours at the Council’s main offices at Monkton Park (Chippenham), Bourne Hill (Salisbury), County Hall (Trowbridge) and at all Wiltshire Council Libraries.

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