COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have voiced anger after the green light was given to the Warwick Local Plan.
Government inspectors have rubber-stamped Warwick District Council’s plan outlining future development in the district over the next 12 years. It includes the building of some 18,000 new homes – which includes 5,000 already built since 2011.
But the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) argue the plan supports ‘unprecedented levels’ of house building in the district, which will lead to thousands of homes being built on what is currently green belt land, particularly south of Coventry and east of Kenilworth.
They are also angry it backs the development of a large ‘sub-regional employment site’ close to Coventry Airport, previously rejected by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government following an earlier inquiry.
Peter Langley of CPRE Warwickshire said: “The inspector came to these issues with a pro-growth agenda and has followed it relentlessly through thick and thin. In doing so, he has ignored some important aspects of government policy and disregarded the well researched and strongly expressed arguments of CPRE and other campaigners.
“They might as well not have been involved at all. This hopelessly one-sided outcome is nothing short of a disaster for the area.
“It remains for the council to adopt the plan, which they say they will do on September 20. Meanwhile CPRE and others will be taking legal advice to decide whether the plan can then be challenged in the courts.”
But council chiefs welcomed the go-ahead from the government.
Council leader Andrew Mobbs said: “This is a landmark moment for our district. Once the Local Plan is adopted we will have the strong framework we need to secure our future prosperity and protect our built and rural environment.
“I’m aware the plan hasn’t been without controversy, but I genuinely believe that we can now look forward with confidence and optimism, particularly for the green belt that will cover nearly 80 per cent of our district.”
Councillors are expected to formally adopt the plan next month.