New site for up to 5,000 Warwick District homes rejected

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An 11th hour suggestion that up to 5,000 homes could be built on land closer to 
Coventry than Warwick, Leamington and Whitnash has been dismissed.

With the final consultation stage on the draft Local Plan due to end next Friday (June 27), Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Lynnette Kelly said last week that a 650-acre site at King’s Hill - partly owned by Coventry City Council - could ease the pressure on controversial ‘garden suburbs’ earmarked south of Leamington and Warwick.

As a sitting Labour Coventry councillor, Ms Kelly is calling for an urgent meeting with Cllr Mobbs and local MP Chris White, who she will stand against in the next general election.

But on Wednesday, Cllr Mobbs said: “The district council is aware of the suggestion made by Lynnette Kelly and are treating this as a political statement - one which does not help either our district or our partners at this stage.

“We are working closely with Coventry City Council on future developments to support the needs of both councils.

“At this stage Warwick District Council’s proposals - as set out in the draft Local Plan - do not include development at King’s Hill.”

Cllr Mobbs (Con, Kenilworth) has also come under pressure from campaign groups about the latest Office of National Statistics figures which indicate population growth up to 2029 will be far less than indicated in the Local Plan which should mean fewer new homes are needed.

He said: “In terms of the ONS figures, I think it is premature for us to comment as the analysis that needs to take place is extremely complex.

“However, I confirm that we take seriously all new information and feedback from residents.”

The site identified by Ms Kelly has led to considerable speculation among town councillors, civic societies and recently formed protest groups such as Save Warwick.

The 650 acre site on the borders of Warwick University in Coventry does fall within the borders of Warwick district even though 190 acres are actually owned by the city council.

The city council has already indicated its willingness to sell its acreage - although one major stumbling block will be that the whole site is currently designated as green belt and would need to be reassessed.