Background: The Keevil Society

The original Keevil Society was formed by residents on 20th July 1987, with the founding aim of “stimulating interest and care for the beauty and character of the village among those who live here, a collective desire to keep Keevil unique in its own small way”.

In 1990 members published the first edition of the famous Book of Keevil; three more followed with Book IV published in 2002. These volumes tell the history of the village and stories of the people and buildings which formed the community, and are the result of dedicated work by many people most of whom are past or present residents of the village.

VDS front pgIn addition, after widespread village participation and consultation, and with the assistance of the then West Wiltshire District Council, a Village Design Statement was published to provide guidance for planning and modifications within the village. On 12th March 2003 it was adopted by WWDS as Supplementary Planning Guidance to key policies contained within the West Wiltshire District Plan. You can view a PDF of the full printed version here :

It was decided that the Society would close at its AGM in December 2015, and the following year the remaining funds went to other village projects voted upon by members, including:

  • Keevil Community Shed
  • Music for the choir
  • An apple press
  • Path/hard standing by the Recreation Ground and to the WI bench
How things stand now: Conservation and Wiltshire Core Strategy
Keevil Village Design Statement Map
Keevil Village Design Statement Map

The Keevil Conservation Area was designated in 1973 to ‘preserve and enhance the special architectural and historic interest’ in certain parts of the village and, whilst this and key principles of the Village Design Statement remain valid (and may be referenced by planning officers at their discretion), the Wiltshire Council Structure has changed since its adoption.

New National Policy led to new Local Plans, and a new Core Strategy was adopted by Wiltshire Council in January 2015 (running until 2026) – which means that the policies with which the Village Design Statement were aligned no longer exist.

Alongside these changes, Neighbourhood Development Plans (or simply Neighbourhood Plans) were introduced as part of the Localism Act 2011 to give local people direct power to ensure that they get the right types of development for their community where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area. Keevil does not have a Neighbourhood Plan.

You can view and download a PDF of the full Wiltshire Core Strategy document here:

Among the changes in the Core Policy are:

  • The removal of village boundaries (Village Policy Limits), with development limited instead to infill to meet the needs of local people;
  • The removal of areas of minimum change. In Keevil this covered the area from Field Head up to and including the Church;
  • Core Policy 58 now covers Conservation of the Historic Environment.

At the Parish Council meeting in March 2018, some residents expressed concerns that the Keevil Village Design Statement is no longer aligned with current Core Policies, and its influence on planning decisions for development within the village is uncertain.

With the support of the Chairman and the Parish Council, a small project group consisting of Sarah Dow, Rob Kevan, Michael Abraham, Gerry Vaughan, Ian Simpson and Norman Owen has formed to conduct a brief review and consider which of the following options might best ensure the preservation, character and environment of Keevil and protect it from the threat of insensitive development:

  1. Confirm how much weight an updated Village Design Statement would hold in planning decisions.
  2. Consider whether a Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan would be a useful option.
  3. Investigate whether a Neighbourhood Plan may be a worthwhile approach for the long term.

The aim is to report findings at the next Parish Council meeting on May 14th, then follow up with a wider consultation of village opinion.

If anyone has any experience or thoughts on these matters, or would like to help in any way at all, please get in touch with any of the team, or phone Michael on 01380 871570 or email Sarah at

A more detailed project outline provided to the Parish Council is here: Proposal for Keevil VDS-NP Project_1.2


A notice from the PC about their intentions to survey residents, and other village organisations such as the school, regarding the future of Keevil. This is not part of the above project and does not involve the project group.
Website Entry Future of Keevil