Decision due on future for rejected Local Plan

A house builder EMN-150906-161615001
A house builder EMN-150906-161615001

Councillors are due to discuss the next steps for the Local Plan after the Secretary of State refused to overturn a decision that not enough houses were planned for the district.

Members will hear the latest proposals at a full council meeting on Wednesday where they are expected to ask that the plan is suspended while work is done to bring it to an acceptable standard - and to approve a £30,000 allocation from a planning appeals reserve to achieve changes needed.

The plan, which sets out housing and development across the district over the next 15 years, was rejected by the planning inspectorate earlier this year for falling short of housing numbers.

The 12,900 homes planned for the district were deemed to be insufficient to meet the national guidelines up until 2031.

Warwick District Council was given three options. It could withdraw the draft, request it be suspended while changes are made, or press ahead with an unsound plan - all of which could leave the district’s land open to unwanted development and builds in the green belt for several years.

Council leader Andrew Mobbs did not want to comment ahead of Wednesday’s meeting but said options will be looked at in detail before the council moves 

Cllr Mobbs expressed “great disappointment” at the decision and he unsuccessfully appealed for intervention from the secretary of state for local government.

The report by the planning inspectorate found a shortfall of 249 homes amid a “persistent under delivery of housing” in the district.

Of the council’s projected 12,900 houses, the vast majority were planned for Leamington and Warwick.

After the plan was deemed to be unsuitable, a council spokesperson said the findings would have “far reaching implications” and that future sites for additional housing would be considered as an acceptable way forward is found.