STRATFORD district long-term housing strategy has finally been agreed.
Members of Stratford District Council formally adopted the authority’s Core Strategy – the planning blueprint for sustainable future development in the district up to 2031 – at a meeting on Monday.
Council leader Chris Saint said: “Stratford District has reached a key stage in its planning history. This is what we have been working towards – providing the planning vision for the next 15 years across the district.
“I am very pleased that it won considerable support in the council chamber today (30 votes out of 32). It is such a relief to get cross-party support, as we all know how important this document is for the District.
“The district ouncil has invested considerable time and resources to get to this stage. I would personally like to thank Dave Nash and his Planning Policy team for all the work they have done in reaching this point.”
Highlights of the Core Strategy include:
* Housing requirement:
– given the scale of growth involved, acceptance of the public preference that it should include new settlements (now agreed at Gaydon Lighthorne Health and Long Marston Airfield) as well as dispersal to a significant number of existing towns and villages
* Employment site allocations:
– strategic employment allocations for Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda at Gaydon
– allocations for employment land at Stratford-upon-Avon, Alcester and Southam
– an additional allocation at Atherstone Airfield, specifically to support Canal Quarter regeneration in Stratford-upon-Avon
– Wellesbourne Airfield retained for aviation activity
* Protection of the Green Belt and the Cotswolds AONB from inappropriate development.
* Protecting the openness within the Areas of Restraint associated with major towns and villages and re-establishing the Special Landscape Areas in which the high quality of the landscape will be an important consideration when considering development proposals.
* Establishing fresh policies that seek to protect the natural and built heritage of the District whilst promoting high quality sustainable development in appropriate locations.
The blueprint was originally submitted to the government in September 2014 and a public examination was carried out by planning inspector Pete Drew in January last year.
A number of changes were made to the key planning document, which outlines where, when and how many houses will be built in the district by 2031, before a second public examination was undertaken at the start of this year.
Following on from the examination, council chiefs came up with some modifications they said were necessary to make the plan capable of adoption.
A six week public consultation on the modifications ended in mid-May and the comments were then forwarded to the inspector.
At the end of last month, he published his final report in which he ruled – subject to some further modifications being made – the document could officially be rubber-stamped by the council.
There will now be a six week period where the document could be subject to legal challenge.