I was brought up in a small countryside village and you can be sure that I am committed to and passionate about protecting our Green Belt and villages. I understand the need to stand up for our green spaces, village communities, services and traditions. I saw my village pub close, the pub service stop leaving our elderly feeling vulnerable and remote. If elected I will not only be a strong voice for our towns but also our rural communities.

I am very concerned that some of the proposed development in the Chippenham constituency threatens our villages. We must ensure that towns are not bled into the villages to protect our village communities, heritage and support local residents. What does anyone gain if we simply allow the amalgamation of our towns and villages?

That is why I am campaigning against a number of proposed developments that threaten our villages including on the Hilperton Gap and the Gladmans development in Holt. We do need more affordable housing but we must prioritise building on brownfield sites, above our town shops, scattered development and the voice of local residents should be heard.

The Conservative manifesto reinforced our pledge to protect the Green Belt and encourage more communities to draw up Neighbourhood Plans.

The Green Belt continues to provide a vital safeguard for our countryside against urban sprawl, providing a vital ‘green lung’ around our towns and cities.  We will make sure that brownfield land is prioritised for new development, helping to protect green fields and the Green Belt.

Since 2010 we have scrapped Labour’s top-down regional strategies that sought to abolish the Green Belt in 30 different places. We have increased protections for the Green Belt, but this is now threatened by Labour’s plan to allow councils to dump development onto the land of neighbouring councils, even if they object. This will allow for urban sprawl and the destruction of the Green Belt.

Wiltshire is a wonderful county filled with beautiful villages which we need to preserve and protect. I will ensure that we do not allow the bleeding of the towns into our villages if I am elected as your next MP.

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