1) The situation remains the same, according to Warwick District Council (WDC) we still have the least contentious and most deliverable parcel of land in the District.
2) WDC completed the local consultations on their Preferred Options on 29th July 2013. The Preferred Options included our two grounds which are to be included within the first phases (from the present to 2019) of the new Local Plan which outlines how the required number of dwellings by WDC are to be delivered over the next 18 years.
3) Coventry City Council (CCC) submitted their Preferred Options to the Secretary of State with a proposed provision of dwellings substantially below the numbers previously established This is because all of the land around Coventry is controlled by other Councils and none of them were prepared to assist in Coventry’s expansion.
4) Consequently the Inspector has thrown out the CCC Preferred Options and required them to consult with the neighbouring authorities in order to establish how CCC can meet a more realistic housing target which will satisfy the anticipated growth that CCC is predicting. As a result the Local Plan for WDC and the other Councils surrounding Coventry are on hold until the CCC situation is resolved.
5) This situation was further complicated by a change in the leadership of the Council in Coventry. The new leadership seems to be making some progress and consultations have been taking place with the adjacent authorities but this has inevitably led to further delays in the finalisation of the WDC Local Plan.
So we need to wait and see what evolves here but it is likely that WDC, along with other Local Authorities, will be under further pressure to release more land in order to increase their housing numbers further to satisfy the needs of CCC.
6) Pressure is mounting on WDC to do something as there is currently a substantial shortfall in the number of dwellings that have been provided under the previous Local Plan and a number of large residential developers have submitted planning applications to force WDC's position and it is thought that WDC will have difficulty challenging these planning applications.
i) Castle Farm - the Wardens seem to be keen on the existing plot but the land which WDC have offered us is considered to be too far out of town and so does not suit our requirements in terms of being easily accessible to the town centre.
ii) Our Agent is in talks with two - potentially three – alternative locations on the town’s borders.