FEARS thousands of unexpected new homes could be dumped on Stratford’s doorstep are unfounded say council chiefs.
In October last year, Lib Dem councillor Peter Moorse raised concerns in The Observer that the district might need to take a share of neighbouring Birmingham City Council’s housing requirement owing to a shortfall in around 33,000 homes.
But a report, which forms part of Stratford District Council’s response to a public consultation period on the ‘soundness’ of its own proposed Core Strategy, states there is “no evidence” to suggest this.
The report – prepared by council officials – will be discussed by members of Stratford District Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Monday (September 8) as the authority prepares to submit its proposed Core Strategy.
The document, which identifies the broad locations, scale and type of development that will take place in the district until 2031, proposes around 10,800 homes be built – including controversial plans for 3,000 homes at Gaydon and Lighthorne Health.
But with Birmingham having struggled to find sufficient land for its own development, Stratford was mooted as a possible solution.
However council officials say this is not the case.
In the report it states: “There is currently no evidence to suggest that housing need arising from outside the district should be met within the district.
“Immediately adjoining councils are maintaining the position their own plans will provide fully for the housing need.”
It dismisses suggestions Stratford district will need to accommodate housing growth from either Birmingham or Coventry as “conjecture” and adds: “A commitment to accommodate additional development at this point would be premature. To delay this plan further and wait to see how matters elsewhere unfurl would be inappropriate.”
Preparing the Core Strategy has been a major undertaking for the council and the document has been developed through multiple consultation phases including a final period, where interested parties could comment on the ‘soundness’ of the document.
It is hoped the council will soon be able to submit its proposed Core Strategy, which will then be publicly examined by the Government’s independent inspector before a recommendation is made on whether it can be adopted.
The latest report and the Cabinet’s recommendations will be further considered at a Full Council meeting on September 15.