Economic Development and Planning


Wiltshire is a large rural unitary authority formed in 2009. The population is around 486,000. The Wiltshire economy is dominated by small and micro-businesses.

The Economic Development and Planning Directorate delivers the following services for Wiltshire:  spatial planning, economic development and regeneration, employment and skills, development management including planning enforcement, conservation, minerals, waste & highways planning and building control.  

The directorate’s planning function has a statutory responsibility to plan for employment and housing growth and mineral extraction and waste to meet the needs of the population whilst protecting Wiltshire’s environment in the most sustainable way.

Our Objectives:

  1. To stimulate economic growth, encourage investment and create additional jobs
  2. To use our planning powers to:
    • Promote and deliver plan led development
    • Seek to achieve high standards of building and building design whilst protecting and enhancing the countryside, and the historic natural and built environment.
    • Maintain the vitality of market towns and city
    • Deliver housing growth to meet local need and support the economy
    • Facilitate business growth
    • Provide healthier and safer environments
    • Facilitate Neighbourhood Planning
  3. To support the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan for the area
  4. To build on the work of the Military Civilian Integration Partnership and maximise the benefits of the Army Basing Plan
  5. To create higher value jobs, support employers to develop their workforce, increase employability and ensure skills match business needs
  6. To increase access and opportunities to employment particularly for the young and tackle worklessness
  7. To work in partnership to deliver the infrastructure needed to grow and sustain the economy
  8. To provide a statutory Planning and Building Control Service – processing Building Regulation Applications, sustainable building, dangerous structures, enforcement of the building regulations and fire risk assessments.

We have a sound base on which to build with high employment, above average levels of productivity and strong growth prospects.  Thousands of new jobs will be created in Swindon and Wiltshire over the coming decade, with many demanding new skills and higher qualifications. Delivering strong economic growth, innovation and improved productivity in the area will, in part, be dependent on how we respond to the skills challenge.  We need more people to achieve appropriate higher level qualifications, whilst at the same time ensuring that no-one is left behind.  The evidence shows that the shift to the provision of higher level skills is not happening fast enough and without change, there will be shortfalls of people with high level qualifications in every key growth sector.  Meeting this challenge means that we need to develop and promote pathways to higher skills that meet the needs of both employers and individuals in a variety of ways, from new higher education opportunities to new technical apprenticeship routes which combine learning and employment.

Our behaviours


You communicate clearly and concisely, ensuring that the message is understood by all. You actively seek methods to prevent over-complication or confusion, by a simple non-bureaucratic approach to work.

High Growth Economy

Swindon and Wiltshire has a high growth economy. It ranks among the top five most attractive regions in England to locate a business and is home to the 5,000 year old world heritage sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. True to its unique offering, as a valuable business and tourist location, every year Swindon and Wiltshire welcomes many new businesses and visitors into its fold.

Strategic Economic Plan

The Swindon and Wiltshire Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) published in January 2016 sets out our vision for growth to 2026. Our central aim is to build on our strengths to create an outstanding, sustainable business environment in which our economy will thrive. Pivotal to our long term success is our ambition to develop a workforce that offers us clear competitive advantage with the skills needed to meet employers’ immediate and longer term needs. We need young people and adults to have the skills and qualifications that equip them for the future.


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