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Published on 12 January 2022
Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils are working together to produce a new South Warwickshire Local Plan to cover the combined geographic area.
The Plan will set out the planning policies that the Councils will use to assess applications for development, as well as identifying sites to meet future needs to support housing, jobs, infrastructure and open space. It will also address the important issues of climate change, wellbeing, connectivity and biodiversity.
As a first stage in the Local Plan making process, a 'Scoping' and 'Call for Sites' consultation ran for 6 weeks in May and June 2021. A range of information relating to this consultation has today been published on the South Warwickshire Local Plan website.
Call for Sites Publication
A key element of the consultation was a 'call' for site suggestions for development and land use for consideration through the Local Plan process. There have been 555 sites submitted and all of these have now been mapped and are available to view on our interactive map. Guidance for how to use this map is available, along with a static pdf version of the map for those that prefer to view the sites in this format. All of this information is available to view on the website.
The call for sites is simply a long list of sites that have been submitted to Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils for consideration through the South Warwickshire Local Plan process. Publication of the Call for Sites is in no way an endorsement by either Council that the site is either suitable for development or will be included within the Local Plan itself.
The Councils are continuing to prepare the Local Plan and are undertaking various technical studies to inform the next stage of plan preparation: Issues and Options. This will include full public consultation and will be the opportunity for residents and stakeholders to have their say on the Councils initial assessment of the suitability or otherwise of the Call for Sites. The Issues and Options consultation will also consider what the strategy for meeting our development needs and managing development to 2050 may look like. Further rounds of public consultation will then follow.
The Call for Sites is an important part of plan-making, but crucially, only one part of the process. The suitability of sites for development and addressing infrastructure constraints are equally important.
As the local planning authorities for South Warwickshire, we are obliged to prepare a Local Plan that meets our development needs and manages development proposals. Further sites for employment and housing are required. The 'Call for Sites' is the starting point for that plan-making process and a further 'Call' may be required if the Councils conclude that the sites submitted are not suitable or are in the wrong locations.
Responses to the Scoping Consultation document
A total of 561 responses were received to the Scoping Consultation, each of these responses have been published today and are available to view in full on the Local Plan website.
Officers have been busy analysing all of the responses and a Consultation Statement has now been published. In addition to detailing the methods used to promote the consultation and information on responses, it also includes an analysis of the responses to each of the consultation questions and summarises the issues raised from the Councils' Duty to Co-operate partners. The Consultation Statement is available on the Local Plan website.
The consultation responses will be used to inform the next stage of preparation of the South Warwickshire Local Plan - the Issues and Options consultation. This will propose more specific issues that the Plan will need to address as well as outlining some potential options of how these can be met. This will consider what the strategy for meeting our development needs and managing development to 2050 may look like. There will also need to be a number of updated and new evidence-based documents to help identify issues and support arguments both for and against potential options. Further engagement with key stakeholders and partners will continue to take place over the next few months.
The latest timetable for the production of the South Warwickshire Local Plan is now available to view on the website. Whilst not yet formally agreed by the Councils through their Local Development Scheme (LDS) updates, this is expected during 2022.
Cllr Daren Pemberton, Deputy Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Place & Economy Portfolio Holder says: "I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the scoping first stage of the preparation of the new South Warwickshire Local Plan. Publishing all of the comments and an analysis of the key themes arising from the consultation is important in keeping everyone engaged in the process and it illustrates how the Councils will use the feedback to help inform the next stage of the plan's preparation - the Issues and Options consultation.
"A large number of sites have been submitted through the call for sites exercise and officers will now be assessing each of the sites submitted to consider their potential as a future development or other land use site within the Local Plan. It is important to stress that at this point in time these assessments have not yet been undertaken, once completed this analysis of the call for site submissions will be published."
Warwick District Council's Portfolio Holder for Place and Economy, Councillor John Cooke adds: "The South Warwickshire Local Plan will be critically important in the shaping of future development of the area over the next 30 years. We are therefore grateful to all those who have contributed to this vital first stage. Now this preparatory work has been done we can start the process of identifying and considering options of how and where we can meet the combined housing, employment, educational, leisure and other infrastructure needs for the future."
Further contact information for the South Warwickshire Local Plan.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council:
Warwick District Council:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575