Legal challenge could be launched against local plan - The Leamington Observer

Legal challenge could be launched against local plan

Leamington Editorial 15th Sep, 2017 Updated: 15th Sep, 2017   0

A LEGAL challenge could be launched in a bid to stop Warwick District Council ‘bulldozing’ through the district with their local plan.

A group of parish councils, residents’ groups and the The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have threatened a legal challenge if the plan is officially adopted on Wednesday (September 20).

When rubber-stamped the plan will outline future development in the district up to 2031. It will see more than 17,000 homes built.

The group – which have named themselves ‘Keep our Green Belt Green’ say the plans significantly reduce greenbelt protection.

Peter Langley of CPRE said: “The Warwick plan, like those of its neighbours, reflects a ‘development at all costs’ philosophy and reduces greenbelt protection to little more than a footnote.

“The council have bulldozed it through. The many counter views put forward at every stage of the process have simply been brushed aside. We would prefer not to have to take legal action, but there seems to be no other way to correct the mistakes of the past.”

The group say the main grounds for legal challenge would include the housing requirement for the district being ‘over-estimated’.

They also claim there was no ‘adequate’ assessment of whether non-greenbelt land could be used for 5,000 of the homes and the public consultation was ‘inadequate’.

But the district council say taking the plan forward is ‘vital’.

A spokeswoman told the Observer: “Warwick District Council accepts the development contained within the Local Plan isn’t without controversy within certain sectors of the community. It is however vital that we now move forward and adopt our local plan for the district on Wednesday.

“With an adopted local plan, we will be in a much stronger position to control where development takes place, and protect the green belt and other areas of countryside.

If Warwick District Council adopt their plan, the group will have six weeks to seek a judicial review.

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