Council criticised over ‘difficult’ local plan consultation

CONCERNS have been raised about a public consultation on future development around Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth.

Last Friday was Warwick District Council’s deadline for comments on its preferred options report - effectively the first draft of its allocation of land for jobs and homes until 2026.

Whitnash residents have been campaigning against proposals for around 900 homes around the town’s boundaries, and voiced concerns at Whitnash town council the night before they handed in their response.

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Landor Road resident Trevor Wood criticised the process and said taking part was difficult for residents without computers, and campaigners had difficulty obtaining enough forms from the council’s Riverside House headquarters.

Although allocation of sites is far lower than unpopular plans under the last Government, many fear that if campaigners against green belt development north of Leamington succeed, the focus will again move south.

Cllr Andre Brown said it had been hard to get at information on which to base its response, and Cllr Simon Rowberry said the town council was not yet in a position to state its views, but had raised issues about the level of growth.

He said: “This is not the last time we will have an opportunity to respond. I seriously hope and expect that at that decision we will have all the details. We can then make an informed judgement.”

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District councillor Les Caborn (Con, Lapworth) led the creation of the plan. He said the consultation had been extensive and he had been pleased with the level of interest and responses.

He added: “Some people did become aware of the consultation during the process and we did extend until this weekend.

We are now collating all the comments and replies. This will take the next two months to ensure every comment is collated and reviewed. It will then be fed into the plan process as the council moves to preparing the next stage.

“This will come back for public consultation early next year.”