The council is aiming for a target of 10,800 new homes in the district in the 20-year period from 2011 to 2031.

This figure is now being questioned by the Council to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which claims changed population forecasts mean the figure should be 6,000 at most. Some developers, however, claim the figure should be over 20,000.

The report states: “Immediately adjoining councils are all maintaining the position that their own plans will provide fully for the housing need arising in their areas.

“In contrast, Birmingham City Council has published a plan that fails to meet identified need within the city boundary. Coventry City Council is preparing to consult on plans to meet a housing need of at least 23,600, having to date been able to identify options to accommodate only 16,500 homes within the existing urban area.

“It is therefore considering further sites both within the administrative area of the city and in discussion with adjacent authorities.”

It says Birmingham is also working with a number of its neighbours to assess the capacity to meet need within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.

“Given these facts, suggestions that Stratford-on-Avon district will need to accommodate housing growth to meet need arising from either Birmingham or Coventry are conjecture,” say the council officials.

“It is not unreasonable to take the view that the need arising from each of these cities could be made without recourse to development in Stratford-on-Avon district.

“A commitment to accommodate additional development at this point would be premature. To delay this plan further and wait to see how matters elsewhere unfurl would be inappropriate.”

For full reports and reaction see next week’s papers.