Future of Warwick district housing lies with councillors

Warwick district's Local Plan.
Warwick district's Local Plan.

The future of housing and development across the district will once again rest with councillors after a pledge to gain full support for the Local Plan.

The currently unfinished plan by Warwick District Council must be sent off to the Government for approval by the end of this year.

But the planning document will not go forward without majority support from elected representatives after assurances by Conservative leader, Andrew Mobbs.

The draft plan - which sets out a framework for development and as many as 14,500 new homes to be built in the next decade - has already been ratified by the full council.

It is currently being modified before a final plan is produced and, provided there are no major changes, only requires approval from the council’s cabinet.

But in a bid to improve feeling on the process and ensure fairness and democracy, the council leader has promised that the plan will not progress without first going back before all councillors for a second approval.

“If there are no major changes then we can submit the plan to the government in the coming month,” he said.

“But I insist that the full council is given the chance to approve this once again before we do so.

“We want all councillors in to get behind this plan.”

Cllr Mobbs (Con, Kenilworth Parkhill), said while he cannot comment on what changes have been made since the plan was last approved, members are expected to be given a second look sometime in November.

So far at least 4,500 of the houses are proposed south of Warwick, Leamington and Whitnash, which has caused anger among ward councillors who feel the numbers are too high.

A further 700 homes are planned for Kenilworth.

The contentious plan has already seen fallout with three Warwick councillors turning their backs on the Conservative Party and removing the party’s overall control of the council.