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Public examination of Stratford's planning blueprint resumes

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

The core strategy will define many aspects of the development of Stratford district, with the most controversial being how many houses should be built and, crucially, where.

And high on the agenda over the next two weeks will be proposals for thousands of homes on Long Marston Airfield, the highly-contentious new settlement at Gaydon/Lighthorne Heath, and the surprise inclusion of a 500-homes development on land alongside the A46 in Bishopton.

Land for employment sites will also be discussed.

In total, as many as 15,500 new homes are expected to be built by 2031 - almost double the figure of 8,000 or so that was mentioned when

work began on the core strategy a few years ago.

Some say the delay in a comprehensive planning strategy being adopted has led the district to remain vulnerable to speculative developments such as the one of 270 homes on Arden Heath Farm, off Loxley Road, Stratford.

The public examination initially began on 6th January last year and was adjourned on 3rd February.

Speaking to the Herald ahead of the opening day of the resumed public examination, Cllr Chris Saint, the leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: "We are well prepared for the resumed EIP and set a timetable in October to progress to Core Strategy adoption by July.

"We have set a new 20-year housing target and identified sites for building in line with the work given to us in March 2015.

"Our sustainability appraisals are up to date and policies have been adjusted in line with the inspectors interim recommendations."

In response to the owners of Wellesbourne Airfield issuing eviction notices to businesses based there, Cllr Saint added: "We are holding firm over Wellesbourne Airfield and treat the notices to quit to operational tenants as an act of brinkmanship that I hope the inspector will ignore. The airfield is simply the wrong place for even more housing."

See Thursday's Herald for a full report on the examination's opening exchanges.

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