BUSINESS leaders have backed proposals for a controversial new town in South Warwickshire – provided major employers are on board and affordable homes are incorporated into the scheme.
Members of the South Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce were in universal agreement over the development of a new town at Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath which could deliver see 3,000 new homes built, and which they were convinced would be of great economic benefit to the area.
But the branch was adamant the scheme would however need to be developed with Jaguar Land Rover in full support.
Larry Coltman, branch chair of the South Warwickshire branch of the Chamber, said: “It is abundantly clear the district is crying out for new homes and the proposed development at Gaydon Lighthorne Heath would help to keep skilled people here and also attract more talent to the area.
“The project would however need to have our biggest employer, Jaguar Land Rover, involved and with an infrastructure that would support the company’s own plans for future expansion.
“Jaguar Land Rover brings thousands of skilled people to the area and the development would support the housing needs of some of the workforce and help keep this talent here.”
Mr Coltman added the site’s benefits outweighed other locations earmarked for development in Stratford district’s Core Strategy, and said the group hoped a mix of homes will be incorporated in the scheme.
He said: “New housing so close to the motorway and the major employer in the area makes sense on sustainability and economic grounds compared to other proposed sites.
“Other sites which have been put forward are miles from the motorways and major roads which would produce huge volumes of commuter traffic causing more congestion and gridlock going through our major tourist town.
“We’re hopeful any development will include a mix of affordable homes and three and four bedroom properties would also be beneficial – as it is important not to alienate skilled people who are looking to get on the housing market and only cater for higher earners.
“From a business point of view this is could be a hugely encouraging scheme to drive growth for the local supply chain supporting Jaguar Land Rover, but the group was in agreement it would not be feasible from our perspective without the firm involved.”
Campaigners against the plans say the have no intention of giving up their fight despite Stratford District Council making the site its first choice for the brunt of 10,800 homes which have to be built in the district by 2031.