Kenilworth will have to accommodate thousands of new homes in and around its edges by 2029 after the Local Plan was voted through on Wednesday by Warwick district councillors.
The houses will be built on greenfield sites in Southcrest Farm, Thickthorn and in Warwick Road near Kenilworth Cricket Club, and on brownfield sites created when Kenilworth School and Sixth Form move.
To the north, Kings Hill will see 1,800 homes built (with a potential for 4,000 beyond 2029), 425 will be built in Westwood Heath and 90 are set for Burton Green.
Kenilworth mayor Cllr Michael Coker (Con, Abbey) said: “We have to bite the bullet, and I don’t like it one bit.”
Kenilworth School and Sixth Form centre are moving from their sites on Leyes Lane and Rouncil Lane respectively to a common site in Southcrest Farm, creating space for 380 homes.
Alongside the new joint school and sixth form, 640 new homes are earmarked to be built on the site, which also includes land on Crewe Lane and Woodside Training Centre.
We have to bite the bullet, and I don’t like it one bit.Cllr Michael Coker (Con, Abbey)
Land at Thickthorn has been set aside for 760 homes, as well as space for a new primary school to meet the increased demand.
Sites on Castle Farm and Warwick Road have also been set aside for outdoor sport, including next to Kenilworth Cricket Club. The club’s current location will be used for a further 100 houses.
The plan justifies this by claiming that the current clubs in Kenilworth have ‘limited capacity for expansion and improvement’ and would not be able to deal with the demand after the increase in the town’s population.
It also reads: “The provision of additional land at Castle Farm for outdoor sport will complement, and may assist the improvement of, existing playing facilities at the site.
“Land at Warwick Road will complement the proposed housing allocation immediately to the north and provide an appropriate southern edge to Kenilworth. Both sites are in suitable, accessible locations and will offer better provision in terms of quantity and quantity than the existing provision in the area.
Explaining the choices of locations, the plan states: “These sites further support expansion of Kenilworth which is tightly constrained by green belt thereby providing for local housing needs.
“They provide sustainable locations with good links to employment and services within Coventry.
“They offer opportunities for infrastructure improvements. There are no suitable alternatives outside the green belt that could meet housing needs in a way that is consistent with the Local Plan’s strategy.”
The district’s first local plan was initially refused by planning inspector Kevin Ward last year, as the 12,900 new houses proposed to be built by 2029 was not deemed sound enough to address Coventry’s housing land shortfall and the authority’s over-reliance on windfall sites.
The revised plan now makes provision for a minimum of 17,000 new homes in the district, although around 7,000 of these have already been built or been granted planning permission.