Now it’s over to you - how many homes should be built in Warwick district

People in Warwick district will be given their say on how much new housing will be built and where it should go.

A draft ‘discussion paper’ gives people three options on the direction of housebuilding until 2026, with a choice of 250, 500 or 800 new homes per year - effectively 3,750, 7,500 or 12,000 houses and flats.

The resulting ‘local plan’ will replace scrapped proposals to build up to 12,000 homes as part of the regional spatial strategies abolished by the coalition Government.

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The proposed survey, to be discussed at Warwick District Council’s executive committee on Wednesday, will also ask people to identify ‘key issues’ facing the area and list their priorities.

The discussion paper describes itself as “a unique opportunity” for people to have a say in how their community changes and develops over the next 15 years.

In the paper, option one - which would create some 800 new homes each year - is described as “the most realistic maximum level” of new development.

Both it and a second option would create greater pressure on roads and schools, but officers say money from development could be spent on attracting and creating new jobs, building affordable homes and schools, and improving roads, sports and health services.

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The third option would allow for some 250 new homes each year, but officers say this would limit chances for businesses to grow and move here and mean less investment. The paper adds: “To allow no more would be contrary to the Government’s aims to grow the economy.”

Officials warn that not to consult would deny the public an opportunity to comment and leave any resulting plan vulnerable to challenge from developers.

Among the items the paper suggests as ‘key issues’ facing the area are the uncertain economy, high house prices, the threat to town centres from shopping parks, and the capacity of services such as schools and health care.

It also lists health, congestion, flooding, poverty, pressure to build in attractive areas, crime and the proposed high-speed rail line.

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The Government says it is giving people more control over development in their area. Under a ‘new homes bonus’ scheme, local authorities will receive extra money for every new home built in their area.

If approved, the consultation will run from late February to mid-June.