2,000 new homes for Gaydon agreed

Planning
Planning

2,000 homes have been given the go ahead at Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath despite “fundamental concerns” from councillors and residents.

The major housing site - to be known as Kingston Grange - was described as “this biggest application the council would ever have to approve”.

This is the largest application the council has ever had to decide and should not be treated the same as a few hundred homes

Laura Steele

It was given the go ahead after a three-and-a-half hour debate by Stratford District Council’s planning east committee on Tuesday despite opposition from ward members over traffic and access.

Lighthorne parish councillor Laura Steele said the information before them was simply not sufficient to make a decision of such magnitude.

“This is the largest application the council has ever had to decide and should not be treated the same as a few hundred homes,” she said.

“We are fundamentally opposed to it for many reasons.”

She also spoke of the major impact changes could have on access to the B4100 with up to 6,000 more cars which should not be ignored.

Gaydon Parish Council asked that approval on the greenfield land be delayed for more work to be done.

Concerns were also raised over Chesterton Windmill - a Grade I listed site which could come under “massive light pollution” and potential damage, and of the Old Quarry, and land near Chesterton Wood.

The development is in line with the council’s Core Strategy to build up to 13,500 homes in the area by 2031.

And 3,000 are set to come to the Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath site - on top of additional land for expansions by engineering firms Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin.

The approval means that 2,000 of these homes can now go ahead along with areas of open space, playgrounds, specialist care housing, a primary school and new heath centre - but under the condition that necessary works on the busy B4100 (which have yet to be agreed) come back before members for full approval.

Planning officers told the committee that the village of Lighthorne Heath was central to the new community and members found the area would be improved as a result.

Committee member Cllr Chris Williams described it as a “sound proposal” before approval was agreed.

He said “People have told us why they don’t want it and I understand that. But Lighthorne doesn’t even have a doctor and this will bring four.

“The B4100 isn’t a county lane, it’s a two way dual carriageway with access routes. When this is all flowing I’m sure a lot of concerns over access will disappear.”