Local Plan in disarray after inspector’s decision

Local Plan
Local Plan
  • The draft Local Plan was rejected by the planning inspector this month
  • The council has appealed for intervention by the Secretary of State for Local Government
  • If he does not call the decision in the plan will be set back by up to two years

Warwick and Leamington could be subjected to more unwanted housing developments if the Local Plan rejection is upheld.

Councillors have urged the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to intervene after the draft Local Plan was rejected for falling short of housing requirements.

I could not support a plan that identifies more housing in Leamington and Warwick

Chris White, MP

The council may now have to work with Coventry City and other Warwickshire councils to find 4,004 new houses a year across the region to meet the inspector’s target.

But last week’s decision leaves proposals across the district in chaos – with the Gateway jobs development hinging on the Local Plan, as well as a possible stadium move for Leamington FC. If the plan is not adopted, it also leaves the council likely to lose rejected planning appeals for 1,300 houses at the Gallows Hill and The Asps sites near Warwick.

The rejection has led to fears over where more houses will go. Cllr Mobbs said he could “not rule out” any sites for extra housing if the council is forced to redraft the plan.

“We have to look at all options and go back to the drawing board if we do not get the decision we hope for,” he said.

“The problem is the domino effect this will have.”

A statement from the Save Warwick group, which is fighting over-development in the town, said: “The threat is that these extra houses will end up south of Warwick, which would be a disaster.”

Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White voiced fresh concern that a hurried redraft may see more homes on land already rejected as unsuitable.

“I did not support the plan as it stood and think there should now be serious consideration – for infrastructure to support all of this extra housing, as well as the number and density of houses,” he said.

“I could not support a plan that identifies more housing in Leamington and Warwick.

“My concern is that there will be a hasty rewriting of the plan and that won’t be good news for those sites that were identified before and were rejected.”