WARWICK District Council has been given the go-ahead to suspend work on its Local Plan while it seeks sites for more than 5,000 extra homes.
Councillors voted in favour of the move in August rather than having to go back to the drawing board after planning inspector Kevin Ward said it needed a significant review.
And the inspector has now agreed to the suspension until next May providing there was “satisfactory progress” to address his concerns.
The council’s draft Local Plan – the key planning document which will shape future development in the district over the next 15 years – was rejected earlier this year by the inspector who said it needed a major review – which included suggestions for more than the planned 12,900 new homes.
The council is now looking for sites to take around 5,200 more homes in the district.
The inspector, in a letter confirming his decision top the council, said: ” I am conscious of the significant scale of additional housing site allocations that the council considers would be required – approximately 5,200 dwellings or more over and above those in the submitted Local Plan.
“I note that the council intends to identify sufficient additional site allocations and is confident that this can be done, and in a relatively short space of time.”
“I will need to be informed of any significant slippage in the timetable or changes in circumstances and in any case provided with an update of progress at the end of January, by which time it is anticipated that additional sites will have been identified and endorsed.”
Council leader Andrew Mobbs welcomed the inspector’s decision.
He told The Observer: “We can now move forward in a positive manner and look at possible sites for the new homes.
“The key point is our draft local plan continues to have weight and can continue to fight off unwanted developments.
“Where will all the new homes go? In as much as we are looking to accommodate Coventry’s unmet need, new build housing is likely to be around Coventry’s borders.”