WORK is continuing to be done as Stratford District Council looks to secure the future of the district’s housing.
It comes after neighbouring Warwick district’s Local Plan was rejected following a four-day examination hearing in public.
The rest of the hearings were scheduled to take place in September but on Thursday (June 4), planning inspector Kevin Ward released a report stating the plan was ‘unsound’.
In addition to questioning the authority’s housing target, he also raised concerns about an ‘unmet housing need’ in Coventry and Warwickshire – saying there was a shortfall of at least 234 homes each year, which would need to be addressed jointly by Warwick and other neighbouring authorities.
Warwick District Council leader, Coun Andrew Mobbs, has since penned a letter to the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, calling for a rethink.
But following the latest developments, the leader of Stratford District Council, Chris Saint has stressed the situation in Stratford district is very different to that in Warwick district.
The authority’s own Core Strategy 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.
A month later, Coun Saint insisted much of the strategy was sound and policies that were no longer subject to challenge could be adopted on an interim basis.
And this week he confirmed work was still being done to ensure the document was progressing in line with the authority’s scheduled timetable.
He told The Observer: “We believe in plan-led development so I am very sorry to hear of this setback to the finalisation of Warwick District’s Local Plan.
“In paragraph 45 of the inspector’s letter to Warwick District Council however, he identifies a number of issues that distinguish the position of Stratford district from that found in Warwick district.
“The Warwick inspector raises issues about housing provision within the Coventry and Warwickshire housing market area that will be considered collectively by the planning authorities concerned.
“In the meantime Stratford District Council remains free to complete the further work required by our planning inspector with a report to council on July 20 to deal with issues that require our attention.”
The next stage of the Core Strategy will be discussed at a special Full Council meeting on Monday, June 22.