Parish Plan

....the details of the development of the Parish Plan so far

Chapmanslade Voice of the Village



PARISH PLAN Documents Quick Links


Summer/Autumn 2021: Under the direction of the Parish Council, the current Parish Plan is under review with the aim of bringing it up to date with the current situation. In addition, the PC have tasked the group reviewing the Plan with reporting back to them on the pros and cons of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.

For further information please contact the Clerk of the Chapmanslade Parish Council at

Nov 2020: Whilst the Covid 19 situation throughout much of 2020 to-date prevented targeted work on the Parish Plan actions, the work done in preparing the PP, including the many contacts forged throughout the community, have been invaluable in facilitating strong community support systems during this strange and difficult time. For example, regarding Section 2, Social & Community, and Section 4 Rural Environment.

Section 2 highlights the need for improved Community Exchange and Communications. The formation of a COVID-19 Action Group in the village exemplifies everything that was wanted to be achieved – and more – reaching out to all parts of the community using multiple coordinated communication channels.

Section 4 identifies the need for more and better health and wellbeing facilities – just the sort of facilites that are required even more in lockdown situations. Footpaths and footpath maps have been enhanced and generated, and some limited improvements have been made to the childrens play area on the Memorial Playing Field. An outline Improvement Plan for the Playing Field has been approved by the Village Hall Committee and initial funding has been secured from the Wiltshire Council Area Board.

The contribution of committed parishioners and the support of the Parish Council and councillors must not be underestimated.

The Steering Group will continue to hold virtual meetings to review current status and drive actions where possible.

Summer/Autumn 2019: During the summer months work on Parish Plan related activities has continued apace with the Connecting Chapmanslade Group making excellent progress, a Village Calendar capturing all village events having been developed, and groundwork for a Chapmanslade Chaps group having been established. Further work on website development has also taken place.

17 May 2019: Thanks to all those who attended the “Let’s get going” meeting held on 14 May 2019 upstairs in the Three Horseshoes. The meeting reviewed initiatives given in the Parish Plan to decide which should be worked on first. See the 14th May ACTION LIST.


Following adoption by the Parish Council (PC) of a Draft Parish Plan two Public Consultation meetings were held in the Village Hall on Saturday 16 March at 2.00 pm, and Thursday, 21 March at 7.30 pm.

Read all about these meetings HERE.

An updated Plan taking into consideration comments received at the above meetings was re-submitted to the PC at their meeting on 11 Apr 2019. This latest version (see above) was adopted with the understanding that it would continue to be reviewed and updated as required by the Steering Group. 


Current PP Steering Group Team: David Arthur, Ian Buick, Nigel Brown, Ian Curtis, John Foster, Tim Humphreys, Lou Knight, Adam Oakley, Charlene Ridler, Terry Rose, Jaimie Shore


QUICK LINKS to supporting information 

Voice of the Village (VoV) Consultation Documents, Q3/Q4 2016 

Questionnaire 2017 Documentation

Data Analysis


OVERVIEW of the Parish Plan development process 

This webpage records the journey taken by the community over the period Q3 2016 to Q1 2019 to develop a Parish Plan based on the views of parishioners with the purpose of making Chapmanslade an even better place to live, work, play and visit over the coming years.

The journey is described in detail in the following sections and represented in the diagram below.

The journey started with the Parish Council (PC) recognizing the need to take a more proactive approach to their work. An initial Steering Group was established to map out the process of developing the most appropriate type of plan – which turned out to be a Parish Plan. A revised Steering Group took on the job of bringing the Parish Plan to fruition. Along the way the majority of parishioners were consulted in several ways and volunteers delivered a number of significant community initiatives.

The last plan for Chapmanslade was set out more than 12 years ago and given the title CHAPCAP (Chapmanslade Community Action Plan). It resulted in many positive initiatives around the village, for example; the children’s playground, a youth club, Speed Watch, tree and hedge planting, Neighbourhood Watch, and recycling. The main reason CHAPCAP was so successful was because a wide cross section of the village was involved in generating ideas and volunteering their time. This approach has been followed when developing the Parish Plan, with the name ‘VILLAGE VOICE’ emerging as the preferred way of referring to the overall initiative.


1.  Use the QUICK LINKS at the top of this document to view essential materials. Additional links are given in the text.

2.  As the Parish Plan continues to develop, this webpage will be updated accordingly.



In September 2016, Parish Councilors Adam Oakley and Phil Holihead took on the task of producing a ‘New Plan for Chapmanslade’ – reporting to the PC. It soon became clear that much had changed over the years since CHAPCAP, not only in the parish itself, but also in neighbouring towns and with local government structures and legislation. Initial investigation identified three possible types of Plan as outlined below.


  1. Neighbourhood Plan:

Focuses on land use and planning issues

A statutory document forming part of the development plan for the area

  1. Parish Plan

Covers all types of issues

Non-statutory but can be used as evidence to influence and inform Parish Council and Town Council decision

Document includes an action plan

  1. Community Action Plan

Documents a consultation process

Followed-up with community meetings and action plans



The following Steps were established. Each Step was cross-referenced to the equivalent Step number of the ‘Neighbourhood Planning Process NPP) Step-by-Step Guide’ on the Wiltshire Council ‘My Community’ website. Ref. Step No’s in [  ].

STEP 1: Establish a Steering Group & Area Covered: Ask for volunteers to be part of the Steering Group that oversees the development and implementation of the Plan. Determine the area that the Plan will cover. [Steps 1 and 2]

STEP 2: Involve the Community: The Steering Group to work with other volunteers to decide how all of the community can get involved. Develop a Strategy and a detailed Plan for engaging with the community. [Step 3]

STEP 3: Consult & Communicate with the Community: Consultation is carried out in numerous ways to identify local needs and aspirations. The results of the consultation are analysed and fed back to the community. A set of Planning Policies focused on making the community vision a reality is developed. [Step 3]

STEP 4: Develop a Plan: A decision as to the most appropriate type of plan is taken – in this case by the Parish Council on behalf of the community. The Steering Group takes on new members to help develop the Plan  [Step 4]

STEP 5: Implement & Monitor Community Initiatives: A list of all initiatives is created and maintained. Initiatives may arise either from the Plan at STEP 4 or as a result of consultations at STEP 3. Progress is monitored and facilitated as required. [No applicable NPP Step number]



From the outset he Parish Council determined that the Plan should cover the whole of the Chapmanslade Parish as defined by Wiltshire County Council.


Adam Oakley Chair, Parish Council liaison
Charlene Ridler Social Media
John Foster Parish Councillor
Terry Rose Documentation / Website
David Arthur
Ian Curtis
Tim Humphreys Treasurer, Grants, Funding


Prof. Nigel Brown and Phil Jefferson (ex leader of the Parish Council) advised the Steering Team, especially in relation to the Village Questionnaire.

Steering Group Mission Statement

To collect and collate the views from across the village on what activities should be considered in order to help inform decisions and actions that seek to make Chapmanslade a better placed to live for all residents.

This statement put the work of the Steering Group firmly in the collect-and-collate space initially, specifically not stating that the group should make decisions or take actions themselves. The words all residents were included to ensure that the group was not seen as having self-interest, e.g. pushing their own agenda.

Steering Group Working Guidelines

The Steering Group developed and kept up to date a set of the Working Guidelines, the intention of which was to support and inform their work. The Guidelines gave a framework for ways of working and helped the group develop a cohesive common language. They were also used to integrate new members into the Steering Group.

Community First

The Steering Group received advice and guidance from Community First Wiltshire ( using face-to-face and telephone meetings and emails.

Steering Group Meetings

Starting 17 October 2016, regular SG meetings were held. The meetings were widely advertised and open to all villagers. Minutes of all meetings were recorded and placed on the village website for all to read.

During August 2017 SG members held a series of ad-hoc meetings to enter data from Questionnaires into an excel spreadsheet in preparation for analysis. These meetings continued throughout September 2017


The main issue for the Steering Group when involving the community was to develop a strategy and a plan that reached out to as wide a cross-section of the community as possible. This would help to generate a wide variety of ideas and help in the implementation of the resulting actions throughout the community.

Community Involvement Strategy

STEP 1: Understand the ‘Voice of the Village’ by reaching out to all parts of the community asking for their suggestions / issues / opportunities for making Chapmanslade a better place to live, play and work.

STEP 2: Analyse the resulting Voice of the Village (VoV) inputs using language-processing (LP) techniques.

STEP 3: Use the Voice of the Village analysis to develop a detailed Questionnaire to be delivered to all households in the village.

STEP 4: Communicate the Voice of the Village inputs and the Questionnaire Results to the community to help solicit volunteers for implementing ‘Village Voice Initiatives’.

Questions used to collect the Voice of the Village

The Steering Group understood the importance of developing effective questions to ask of the community. Questions should be ‘open-ended’ NOT ‘closed’ (which can be answered by a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No”). Open-ended questions require more thought from those being interviewed or surveyed, and help the interviewer to enter into a conversation from which useful information can be extracted.

The chosen questions were:

When talking with individuals:

Q1.   In your opinion, what are the issues and opportunities facing our community?

When talking with groups, clubs, businesses and organisations (school, church etc.), it may be appropriate to ask the following supplementary questions:

Q2.   What can the community do to help your group / club / business / organisation to be sustainable and be successful?

Q3.   When thinking of your group / business / organisation, are you planning to make, or do you know of, any significant changes?

A Detailed Plan for Reaching out to the Community

The Steering Group identified the various individuals and groups in the village who could/should be engaged, then ‘brainstormed’ ways in which engagement could take place. This information was contained in an Engagement Plan.



Community Consultation Meetings

The first community consultation meeting took place in the Village Hall at 7.30PM on 29 September 2016. All villagers were invited to the meeting via a leaflet drop, emails, and advertising on the village website. 25 people attended.

Adam Oakley gave a presentation, followed by small group discussions, then attendees were asked to write down their issues and opportunities on Post-it Notes, which were grouped into topic headings. A spokesperson for each group shared the issues that arose with the whole meeting.

No attempt was made to ask attendees to categorise or group their issues into any pre-determined or pre-prescribed buckets (e.g. housing, roads, transport, council services, sport/recreation, etc.). The strategy was to let the data (language data) shape the way forward.

A total of 110 Post-it Note labels (Voices) were collected during the meeting. When duplicates were discarded, 75 issues / opportunities were left. After the meeting a Voice of the Village diagram was developed.

Many forms of communication were used to feedback the results of the meeting – not only to the meeting attendees but also to as many villagers as possible (via emails, large display in the pub, at group meetings and on the village website).

The ‘Voice of the Village’ diagram and the presentation used for the first meeting can be found on the village website.

Subsequent Community Consultations

The Steering Group continued to involve and communicate with the community using the Community Engagement Plan as a template.

As part of the strategy for reaching-out and communicating with the community and to facilitate future work, the Steering Group implemented the following actions:

  1. Start a Chapmanslade Village Community Facebook group
  2. Put all documentation relating to the Steering Group on the village website under a separate PARISH PLAN

In addition to the 1st Meeting, the following engagements took place:

  1. Informational emails posted to Phil Jefferson’s mailing list (130 recipients) and Adam Oakley’s ‘Village Hall’ mailing list (100 recipients)
  2. Information regularly posted on the village Facebook page.
  3. Large sized VoV display board in the Three Horseshoes along with cards on tables asking for people’s inputs.
  4. VoV Display/discussions at monthly Church & Community Coffee mornings
  5. VoV Display/discussions at two off History Group meetings
  6. VoV Display and discussions at the PTFA Xmas Fayre (10 Dec 2016)
  7. Articles placed in the November and December 2016, and January 2017 issues of The Bridge magazine, which is delivered to all households.

A total of 312 issues and opportunities were submitted up to 5 Jan 2017.

The list of VoV Issues and Opportunities can be viewed on the village website.



An important part of the Community Involvement Strategy was to use the ‘Voice of the Village’ analysis to help develop a detailed Questionnaire to be delivered to all residents over the age of 11.

In addition, advice was sought from Community First as there are various guidelines that need to be followed should the Parish Council wish to use the results of the questionnaire to seek funding from Wiltshire Council and/or to develop a Parish or Neighbourhood Plan. Find Guidance Notes for developing a Questionnaire on the Wiltshire Council website.

Chapmanslade resident Prof. Nigel Brown advised the Steering Group on the structure and wording of the questionnaire and local business sponsors (see back page of the Questionnaire) funded printing costs.

The Parish Council agreed the final revision of the Questionnaire in June 2017.

During June and early July 2017, a team of 20 volunteers distributed over 600 Questionnaires, plus a Demographics Sheet to each household.

A total of 358 completed questionnaires (60% of those distributed) were collected, with at least one Questionnaire from just about every household in the village. Thereafter, all data were entered into an excel spreadsheet and a RESULTS REPORT produced.

Use the Quick Links at the top of the page to view the Questionnaire and the Results Report.

Following issue of the Results Report, two face-to-face Engagement Meetings were held on 16 and 19 November to share and discuss the results of the Questionnaire. Over 50 parishioners joined these meetings. Both meetings were held in the Village Hall with parish councillors leading discussion groups. Notes from both meetings are available on the website.


Following a detailed review of the Questionnaire Results and community consultation, the Parish Council asked the Steering Group to generate a PARISH PLAN (see Plan Options above) as they believed that this type of plan would achieve the best outcome of making Chapmanslade a better place to live, work, play and visit.

Parish Plan Steering Group

The original Steering Group established in STEP 1 was reformed to develop the Parish Plan.


Prof. Nigel Brown

Adam Oakley


Chair, Parish Council liaison, Education

Footpaths, Countryside Issues, Website

Charlene Ridler Social Media, Community Issues, PTFA
John Foster Parish Councillor, Footpaths, Development of the village
Terry Rose Website, Community Issues
David Arthur Utilities
Ian Curtis Local enterprise

Tim Humphreys

Jaimie Shore


Treasurer, Grants, Funding

Facilities & Utilities

Others are supporting the SG, specifically: Ian and Janet Buick (Church and community issues), Rev. Marian Curtis (Community & Social Issues)

Parish Plan Roadmap

As work progressed on developing the Parish Plan it was important for the SG to continually check alignment with the results of the Voice of the Village. See the graphic in Appendix 2.

Format of the Parish Plan

The SG used a format aligned to the section headings of the Questionnaire.

Initiatives Arising From The Parish Plan

The Parish Plan will include a series of short and longer-term initiatives to be carried out by volunteer groups – with progress being monitored by the Parish Council.



In the interests of “getting things going” and stimulating interest, during the long process of developing a Parish Plan, the Steering Group facilitated and encouraged numerous initiatives under the general banner of Village Voice 


An initiative is seen as any activity happening around the village that is designed to help make Chapmanslade a better place to live, work, play and visit.

They may range in scope and difficulty from (say) something that is relatively quick to implement (the so-called low hanging fruit), to much larger, longer-term projects requiring significant planning, effort, funding, and community/local authority approval.

Initiatives are not the responsibility of, nor owned by, the Steering Group. The SG may support individuals to establish initiatives for the benefit of the community. As villagers, SG members may wish to get involved in one or more initiatives.

Not all initiatives take place as a direct result of, or even in connection with, the Parish Plan or Village Voice. It is hoped that individuals will be inspired by the work of the Steering Group and other volunteers and embrace their own initiatives.

See a List of Initiatives. The list is not intended to be comprehensive.



Community First Wiltshire:

Warminster Neighbourhood Plan website.



Appendix 1: Steering Group Working Guidelines

  1. The overall aim of the Parish Plan shall be to ‘Make Chapmanslade a better to LIVE, WORK, PLAY and VISIT.
  2. Achievements and results should be reported back to residents and the Parish Council on a regular basis.
  3. Get a wide cross section of the village involved – both in giving their views and implementing resulting actions.
  4. By its very location, Chapmanslade is not an insular or inward looking community – never has been. Ensure that the views of welcomed visitors and neighbouring communities are known.
  5. Wherever possible involve and bring on board established local groups, clubs and societies.
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate – with residents and the outside world.
  7. Document what we do as we go along. Records of decisions, processes and results may be invaluable to gain funding and to produce the most appropriate type of plan.
  8. Keep minutes of meetings.
  9. Steering Group meetings should be open to all villagers to attend
  10. Act quickly on ‘low hanging fruit’ concerns / issues / suggestions. Don’t wait to produce a definite plan.
  11. ‘Voice of the Village’ is the preferred terminology for capturing the results of consulting villager’s issues and expectations/aspirations.
  12. Village Voice is the umbrella terminology for initiatives associated with the Parish Plan.