16th Dec, 2017

Warwick district local plan set to go under microscope

Leamington Editorial 26th Jan, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE FUTURE shape of Warwick district is set to go under the microscope again this week.

Warwick District Council is looking to build 12,860 homes by 2029 and the Local Plan is designed to identify the broad locations, scale and type of development and supporting infrastructure that will take place during that time.

On Wednesday (January 28) members of Warwick District Council will be considering a report on whether the authority’s Local Plan could be submitted to Government.

If given the green light by councillors, an independent inspector would then hold a public examination of the document before deciding if it could be rubber-stamped.

The authority has already come under fire from The Leamington Society for dragging its heels over the plan as well as campaigners who argue too many of the homes are earmarked for south Leamington.

But although he admits the document has been the source of a lot of controversy, Warwick District Council leader Andrew Mobbs has always defended the authority’s planning process.

He is hoping the examination could be held as early as May this year with a view to the plan being in place by late summer.

Speaking to The Observer, he said: “As a council we have a simple vision – to help make Warwick District a great place to live work and visit. One of the many ways we can do this is through our Local Plan.

“It gives us a strategy for promoting, distributing and delivering sustainable development and strength in resisting proposals that do not accord with the plan. It is also a framework for securing the future prosperity of the district.

“At the same time as promoting prosperity however, we need to make sure we protect and enhance those elements of the district that are highly-prized.”

A particularly controversial element of the document has been that of identifying suitable gypsy and traveller sites in the district with Leamington Football Club potentially facing a move away from their New Windmill Ground home.

Coun Mobbs added: “We are currently assessing the responses from the Stratford Road consultation and working with Leamington FC to secure an alternative site, which in turn will make their current site available as a gypsy and traveller site.

“While it is challenging to identify suitable sites, it is imperative we are in a strong position for the examination into the Local Plan, to reassure the Inspector we have made significant progress on the matter.

“There is still much more to do and we will continue to work with the communities to deliver a plan that ensures that Warwick District is a great place to live, work and visit.”

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