WARWICK District Council could be given permission to suspend its Local Plan – with one proviso.
Planning Inspector Kevin Ward has told district council leader Andrew Mobbs the authority will need to work with other councils in Coventry and Warwickshire to reach an agreement for dealing with neighbouring Coventry’s unmet housing need.
The Inspector has indicated that in principle he is prepared to consider continuing with the submitted Local Plan while agreeing to a period of suspension to address a number of concerns.
It would save the council having to go back to the drawing board with the key planning document – which will shape future development in the district over the next 15 years – after Mr Ward said it need a significant review. He suggested the council needed to look to provide more than the 12,900 new homes outlined.
The council is hoping an agreement can be met on Coventry’s unmet housing need by the end of September.
Coun Mobbs said: “This represents a positive response from the Inspector. It means there is a possibility that the examination of the current Local Plan can continue and that it may not be necessary to withdraw the current plan and start again. This is therefore, a constructive and pragmatic way forward.
“The Inspector’s latest letter recognises that his significant concerns regarding the level of housing need across Coventry and Warwickshire may now be effectively addressed through this alternative approach and that Warwick District Council and the other Coventry and Warwickshire authorities are working together to deal with unmet housing need.
“He welcomes this development but is clear that he would like to see the joint work reach a clear conclusion before he agrees to suspend the Local Plan.”
If granted the suspension, the council is hoping to resume work on the Local Plan around this time next year.