STRATFORD District Council has agreed to re-submit its Core Strategy for independent examination.
The key planning document, which will help shape development in the district until 2031, underwent a month long examination at the beginning of this year.
In March government planning inspector Pete Drew released an interim report stating the council’s target of building 11,300 homes almost certainly needed to be upped.
As a result, members of the authority rubber stamped further modifications to the document in July, which involved an increase in the amount of housing proposed along with the identification of sites to accommodate the new homes.
The newly proposed housing requirement now stands at 14,480 homes – around 720 per year – but could end up being as high as 15,500.
To help reach the new target just over 8,000 homes in total at sites in Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath (GLH), Long Marston, Southam and three locations in Stratford have been put forward.
A six week consultation giving residents and businesses the opportunity to comment on the modifications ended last month – and the findings were discussed at a meeting this week.
During the meeting, campaigners from Bishopton Residents Action Group spoke against plans to build up to 500 homes on the edge of Stratford, while councillors representing Southam expressed concerns about proposals for 500 homes on land off Daventry Road.
The GLH plans have long been fought by campaign group FORSE, which argued the selection process used to identify sites was flawed.
This message was reiterated by Coun Jacqui Harris and Coun Chris Kettle with the latter saying the authority was “walking into a disaster” if it continued to back the scheme.
And an eleventh hour bid by Lib Dem Peter Moorse to have the Bishopton proposal removed was defeated after councillors were warned the process could be delayed further if any site was taken out since it would need to be replaced by an alternative.
Members then voted unanimously to submit the modifications and public consultation representations to the planning inspector.
Council leader Chris Saint described the decision as an “important milestone” in the Core Strategy adoption process.
He said: “The outcome of the initial examination hearings was an interim conclusions report that required significant additional work to be undertaken.
“The meeting presented all this information to members who considered it vital to be submitted to the planning inspector without delay.
“The recommendations agreed reflect the council’s ongoing commitment to developing a sound Core Strategy as quickly as is reasonably possible.”
It is not yet known when the inspector is likely to restart the public examination.