Final version of Kenilworth Neighbourhood Plan being drawn up

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The final version of the Kenilworth Neighbourhood Plan is now being drawn up after the consultation period ended last week.

Kenilworth Town Council is now going through the 400-plus responses from individuals and organisations to the draft plan and using them to write a finalised plan, which the public will eventually get a yes-or-no vote on.

If adopted, it will help Kenilworth control the coming development from Warwick district’s Local Plan, which is bringing thousands of new homes to the town.

In a statement published on the town’s new website, Cllr George Illingworth said ‘useful and constructive comments’ have been made which will help improve the plan.

When asked what that meant, he suggested things like the amount of concerns raised over traffic, and asking Warwickshire County Council’s highways department to consider more junctions for improvement than what was in the draft version of the plan.

He also said some had put forward suggestions to improve green infrastructure, and said there was a mixed response about a new multi-storey car park, which he described as being like ‘Marmite’.

But he added: “I don’t know exactly what will change, it depends on what we all agree on. We have to be careful we don’t give more weight to a particular problem.

“There could be an equally big problem that not many people have mentioned.

“But we’ve had a lot of points made. Some require a rethink from us, and some require little action other than a bit of editing.

“We’ve got to pull together the full story and we’ll do that as quickly as we can.”

Cllr Illingworth could not commit to a publication date. He said: “My concern is to get it right rather than to rush it through.”

But the town council does not have a great deal of time to get the Neighbourhood Plan approved.

Warwick district’s Local Plan is highly likely to be adopted on Wednesday September 20, meaning developers can then start drafting plans and building.

If no Neighbourhood Plan is in place, Kenilworth will not be able to control the developments as much as it would like.

Once the final draft is ready, it will go to Warwick District Council for approval, then an independent inspector, and finally to Kenilworth’s residents in a referendum.