Landowners and developers have been asked to refrain from submitting applications to build houses on land to the south of Warwick and Leamington until a robust infrastructure plan is in place for the area.
Warwick District Council’s chief executive Chris Elliott has made the written request for interested parties to hold fire with applications until the end of November.
This, he has said, will give the authority time to finalise a ‘master plan’ for the area which includes land off Europa Way, Gallows Hill and Harbury Lane .
Mr Elliott is keen to stress that this does not mean the use of the land had already been decided but that having an infrastructure framework in place would mitigate the impact of any development in the area which had been given planning permission either by the council or through appeal.
He has said: “Council officers are currently trying to work with all the likely developers and landowners in the development area currently identified on the southern side of Warwick, Leamington and Whitnash with a view to ensuring that, if approved, the standard of development is of an appropriate high quality served by the appropriate levels of infrastructure.
“This activity has been done in the context of the Local Plan submission draft which is unlikely to come forward for consideration until March or April next year but with the district facing a significant gap in its five-year supply of land for housing the reaction of seemingly all parties involved is the submission of planning applications which we are then duty bound to determine.
“This is creating an issue both for the council and for developers and landowners as the provision of much of the infrastructure is common to all the landownerships and is not yet properly tied down.
“This raises the prospect of refusal of permission for the want of infrastructure and for the council, the prospect of increased workload fighting appeals which are not necessary.”
Cllr Linda Bromley (Ind, Warwick South) who has raised concerns about the proposed number of houses in the area and the impact they could have on Warwick’s town centre , spoke in support of Mr Elliott’s request.
She said: “It’s a very sensible approach to take as there are many issues still to be addressed, one of which is that the Warwick district air quality action plan identified the road network within Warwick town centre as exceeding nitrogen dioxide Levels.
“Increased traffic volume will exacerbate these levels and it is imperative that a health impact assessment is carried out in relation to the housing development planned for the area.”