Approval of Warwick district's Local Plan '˜a disaster'

Official approval of Warwick district's Local Plan has been described as '˜a disaster' and '˜a turning point for the worse' by certain campaign groups.

The Local Plan will bring 13,000 new homes to the district by 2029, as well as new schools, healthcare centres and community facilities.

Its approval by the Government’s Planning Inspector last week was described as a ‘landmark moment’ for the district by Warwick District Council leader Cllr Andrew Mobbs.

But the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) condemned the Inspector’s decision, and Burton Green Parish Council did not share Cllr Mobbs’ level of enthusiasm.

Peter Langley of CPRE Warwickshire felt the approval of the plan was tantamount to ‘environmental vandalism’.

He said: “The Inspector came to these issues with a pro-growth agenda and has followed it relentlessly through thick and thin.

“In doing so, he has ignored some important aspects of government policy and disregarded the well researched and strongly expressed arguments of CPRE and other campaigners. They might as well not have been involved at all.

“This hopelessly one-sided outcome is nothing short of a disaster for the area.”

And Cllr Archie Taylor, chairman of Burton Green Parish Council, said the plan had been approved despite the parish council’s belief that the population figures are ‘nonsense’.

He added: “Burton Green finds it difficult to share the enthusiasm towards the Local Plan and we do not look forward to the future with ‘confidence and optimism.’

“We cannot believe Cllr Mobbs and the Planning Inspector have accepted Coventry’s nonsense population projections, especially with regards to the calculation of non-European students.

“Cllr Mobbs is right that this represents a landmark in our history but, unfortunately for us, it is a turning point for the worse.”

The district council is expected to formally adopt the plan on Wednesday September 20.

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