Campaigners fighting against plans for thousands of homes in Warwick believe a ‘major’ flaw in the proposals has been unveiled at the eleventh hour.
Office for National Statistics has this week presented dramatically reduced projections of the expected local population growth over the next few years.
The Revised Local Plan - which plans to build the majority of the 12,900 around Warwick -used the previous population figures as a projection for the amount of new homes needed.
Instead of 21,474 more people moving to the areas of Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth over the next 18 years, the new calculation predicts a population growth of 15,313.
That’s a 29 per cent decrease according to members of the Leamington and Warwick Societies.
They believe the new figures prove that the latest version of the plan - agreed by Warwick District Council in April - is no longer sound.
Bishops Tachbrook parish councillor and architect Ray Bullen, who earlier this year accompanied Chris White MP on a lobbying visit to Parliament, said: “By my reckoning this means the number of new homes that are required to be built between 2011 and 2029 is not the 12,860 of the district plan but 9,217.”
Richard Ashworth, chairman of the Leamington Society, said: “If the original population growth was accepted we would be building something like an extra three Chase Meadows or Warwick Gates estates than will be needed.”
James Mackay, chairman of the Warwick Society, who has long protested that so many new “garden suburbs” would turn the town centre into a “polluted traffic island” said: “This change in projections is a major change in the assumption on which the plan is based.
“We look forward to learning of the council’s reaction to this change and hope that it will confirm that the extent of greenfield development and of traffic growth should be less.”