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[08 JAN 99] STRATFORD ON AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Boost For Green Belt Welcomed

Councillors in Stratford have welcomed a decision to give Green Belt protection a higher priority, after the government ordered Stratford District Council to remove a large housing development in Earlswood from the Local Plan. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has directed Stratford District Council to delete a proposal from its draft Local Plan for 75 dwellings at Malthouse Lane, Earlswood, and to find a site for the new houses in another part of the District.

"We have been asking the Government Office of the West Midlands to make a definitive statement on this for the last six months, but up to now they have not done so," says Cllr Andrew Cooley, deputy leader of Stratford District Council

"The original local plan proposed extending the Green Belt in a number of locations, but this was rejected by a public inquiry inspector. In the early stages of the plan, this housing scheme was proposed for 150 homes, which was reduced to 100 in the deposit draft, and we cut it again to 75 last autumn.

"Without this clear decision we were unable to cut it completely without the risk of breaking the government's own rules on preparing a local plan, and the consequent legal battles that would have followed - at considerable cost to taxpayers.

"Of course solving one problem has given us another one, as the government has also told us that we must find land for another 75 houses in or near Stratford. This will not be easy, and it will delay adoption of the local plan still further."

NOTES

The Earlswood site was originally allocated in the Stratford District Local Plan (Deposit Draft) in 1993. After a lengthy Public Inquiry into issues raised by the Local Plan, an Inspector appointed to report on that Public Inquiry recommended that the site be removed from the Plan. However, the District Council adopted the Inspector's recommendation on locating sites in a transport corridor, and argued that the Earlswood location would contribute to making better use of public transport, in particular the north Warwickshire railway line.

The Inspector considered that its development for housing would adversely affect the setting of Terry's Pool and that the 'major' highway works necessary to secure its development for housing were unacceptable and were not out weighed by the District Council's arguments. In March 1998 the District Council advertised its intention not to accept the Inspector's recommendation on the Earlswood site.

This decision attracted over 500 objections from local residents.

MORE INFORMATION:
Mark Lepkowski, press officer on 01789 260104
Sean O'Grady, director of planning on 01789 260300
   

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CWN / Politics / Stratford on Avon District Council / Press Releases / 8 Jan 99

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