A MILESTONE was reached this week as Stratford District Council looks to build for the future.
The authority’s Core Strategy – the key planning document, which will shape development until 2031 – was submitted to government last year and underwent a month-long public examination in January.
An interim report released in March by government planning inspector Pete Drew revealed more work needed to be done before the document could be rubber-stamped.
But a month later, Stratford District Council leader Chris Saint insisted much of the strategy was already sound and policies no longer subject to challenge could look to be adopted on an interim basis.
And at a meeting of the authority’s Full Council on Monday (June 22) councillors agreed as they voted to adopt 21 of those policies.
It means the council can now use the policies to help determine upcoming planning applications.
Speaking about the development, Coun Saint said: “A huge amount of work has gone into this over the past few years. It has been a long and complex process and we are pleased the basis for a number of the policies is largely approved.
“These polices are material considerations against which all planning applications will now be assessed and are seen by the district council as crucial to the process of guiding the future development of the district.”
Coun Saint and the Tory-led council have previously come under fire for delaying the document’s adoption.
And plans to build a virtually new town of 3,000 homes near Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath (GLH) were met with fierce criticism from nearby residents as well as campaign group FORSE.
In his interim report Mr Drew reserved judgement on the GLH plans pending further assessment, but drew attention to “a major flaw” in the assessment of an alternative site at Long Marston Airfield.
He also suggested the authority’s target of building 11,300 homes in the district was “tight” and would almost certainly have to increase – but did not specify by how many.
The recently adopted policies are concerned with everything from sustainable development to infrastructure and Green Belt land to gypsies but do not relate to the GLH site or the housing number target.
The next stage of the Core Strategy is set to be discussed at a meeting towards the end of July.