Save Warwick – is next step a judicial review?

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

Members of the Save Warwick group believe they may have a strong case for a judicial review on the
district council’s handling of the Local Plan.

Rows arose after figures on the amount of land available for the next five years were only released minutes before last week’s crucial planning meeting when applications for 1,000 new homes were approved - nearly 800 of them off Harbury Lane in Warwick.

On Tuesday members of the Save Warwick group met to consider the strength of their position for a legal review because they dispute the council planning officers’ claim that they have not yet approved a full five years of building sites for homes - as is required for the council to resist further applications.

David Williams, spokesman for the group, said: “Over the past two months our district has been bombarded with planning applications for huge estates in the south. After the 1,000 homes approved last week they are now facing applications for in the region of an extra 1,200 homes off Europa Way.

“In addition, in September the council will be fighting 
an appeal against its refusal of 125 homes at Bishops Tachbrook and in the spring of next year there will be another appeal into its refusal of 900 homes at the Asps off Banbury Road.

“Council officers continue to claim that the five years of housing land supply has not yet been provided - making the district more vulnerable to speculative planning applications. But while all reasonable people will agree there is a need to provide affordable houses, our view is that there is already a five year land supply even without the latest Office of National Statistics figures showing a smaller population growth.

“What we are seeing at the moment is the council pandering to a developer stampede. By approving more homes west of Harbury Lane to create a huge new suburb the council is also encouraging developers to apply for even more houses on our good agricultural land.”