Why should we be concerned about building on Farmland?

Chippenham preferred development sites

2050 Weather forecast

why should we be concerned about building on farmland?

Let’s think about this a bit more…. 

So Wiltshire council’s Future Chippenham and local plan proposals seem to be incompatible with their own declared climate goals. So let’s project forward and see what the future climate in Chippenham could look like.

The Met office provides a tool to project the future climate in our area..

You can see a theoretical forecast for 2050 where Wiltshire experiences a heatwave of 43 – 45 degrees C. The station is closed as rails are buckling, building sites have shutdown and food supplies are affected as farming overseas has halted due to extreme temperatures. We have 14 consecutive days with temperatures over 30 degrees C and there is little rainfall. Houses have subsided as the ground dries and cracks. In contrast winter rainfall is higher – warmer and wetter with increased flooding.

Almost the entire house build in the Future Chippenham plan and the Wiltshire local plan for Chippenham is on greenfield farm land and close to flood plains.

For me this is madness in a near future where food supplies globally are likely to destabilise!

We have an agricultural college at Lackham Campus working on the future of land based industries. It seems that under any reasonable risk assessment we should preserve the farms around Chippenham for the carbon they store, the potential they have for future food production in a rapidly changing climate, and to help Chippenham become self sufficient in its own food production.