Next step for Local Plan as inspector approves 7,000 extra houses

Construction site 20121118-131038-200
Construction site 20121118-131038-200
  • Warwick District Council’s Local Plan has been suspended while 7,008 extra houses are included
  • The plan may now be accepted by 2017 rather than being redrawn and set back at least three years
  • Without a Local Plan the council is open to unwanted development across the district

Warwick District Council’s Local Plan can finally move forward after the planning inspector agreed to suspend a decision while thousands of agreed extra houses are added.

Councillors were warned they may have to completely redraw the plan which sets out development for building over the next 15 years after failing to meet national housing requirements.

Work to establish new sites will begin shortly as we begin to address these numbers

Andrew Mobbs

But after agreeing to take on an extra 7,008 houses from Coventry, the inspector has agreed to allow time for the plan to be amended before he makes a final decision.

Council leader Andrew Mobbs (Con, Kenilworth) said he was “delighted” with the news which he confirmed to the Courier and Weekly News this week.

He said: “I am delighted that the inspector has agreed to our time scales and suspended the Local Plan.

“This means that we can now move forward positively and means our draft plan holds weight so we can continue to fend off unwanted development.

“Work to establish new sites will begin shortly as we begin to address these numbers.”

Criticising the council’s original plan, the government’s planning inspector told officers that as well as failing to meet housing numbers, the plan relied too heavily on unexpected windfall sites.

The inspector also stated that the shortfall of housing across Warwickshire and Coventry must be addressed jointly for any authority’s plan to progress.

Earlier this month Warwick district agreed to take 40 per cent of the 17,800 houses which Coventry’s cannot find space for after council leaders agreed to spread the builds across Warwickshire.

This means that on top of the 12,900 proposed as part of the Local Plan by 2029 Warwick district must build an extra 7,008 houses by 2031.

This number could even rise again as Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has so far refused to sign up for its share of over 5,700 houses in the redistribution package.

The council will now work on identifying possible sites for housing across the district.