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Stratford District Council launch consultation into its revised site allocation plan (SAP)

EARLIER last week Stratford District Council launched a consultation into its revised site allocation plan (SAP), a document that runs to almost 200 pages.

Delve into the detail and what you’ll find are a series of parcels of land that are being considered for development, many for homes but some for businesses, education and infrastructure projects.

In short, the SAP, once adopted, will help maintain the housing land supply across the district until the new South Warwickshire Local Plan is in place. It’s needed, the council says, to address issues and challenges not covered by its core strategy, which was adopted in 2016.

These challenges include making sure there are alternative development sites available – known as reserved sites – should a planned development not happen, or the district’s housing needs change.

The district’s core strategy commits the area to building a minimum of 14,600 homes up until 2031 – counting towards that number started in 2011. The current trajectory estimates that about 16,000 homes could be delivered across the district by 2031. So, the likelihood is that the reserve sites for housing will not be needed as SDC is expecting to be above its minimum target.

One fly in the ointment could be Long Marston Airfield where 3,500 homes are planned. However, planning conditions prevent all those homes from being occupied before the south-western relief road (SWRR) is built and the funding is not in place for that major piece of infrastructure.

That number had been restricted to 400 homes based on the capacity of the local road network, including the capacity at Clopton Bridge in Stratford. But the SAP states: “The most recent transport assessment undertaken to inform the preparation of this version of the site allocations plan confirms that there is some additional capacity within the highway network to enable further development for about 750 dwellings to the south of Stratford in advance of the SWRR being constructed.”

And it adds: “The council considers that the bulk of this spare capacity should be ascribed to Long Marston Airfield as opposed to alternative reserve sites.”

The council has other land pressures, including contributing to the housing supply for Birmingham which has a shortfall of more than 6,200 homes up to 2031.

Stratford has to play its part – along with many other local authorities – in helping to plug that gap and is proposing to open up land for the development of 380 homes.

The sites would mainly be around Stratford:

  • Evesham Road, next to the current Stratford West development – 88 homes
  • Shipston Road, near the Rosebird Centre – 210 homes
  • Alcester Road, opposite Brookside Road – 56 homes
  • A plot would also be released west of the Birmingham Road, Mappleborough Green for 25 homes.
  • Subject to infrastructure issues, 150 homes could also be built on Banbury Road, Stratford, next to the retirement homes on the edge of town.
  • The SAP explains that if Birmingham was capable of accommodating the houses, they would be built there and adds: “Aside from being the largest and most sustainable settlement in the district, Stratford benefits from direct rail services to and from Birmingham and the Black Country. It is therefore an appropriate location for housing to meet the needs of the conurbation.”
  • Some of the larger sites on the first tranche reserve list are:
  • Alcester: south of Allimore Lane (east) – 60 homes
  • Alcester: south of Allimore Lane (west) – 30 homes
  • Bidford: east of Jacksons Meadow – 40 homes
  • Clifford Chambers: east of Campden Road – 25 homes
  • Moreton Morrell: south of John Davis Drive – 20 homes
  • Quinton: east of Goose Land – 30 homes
  • Southam: west of Banbury Road – 75 homes
  • Southam: east of Banbury Road – 120 homes
  • Tiddington: south of Sid Courtney Road – 24 homes
  • Wellesbourne: east of Warwick Road – 25 homes
  • Long Marston Depot: west of Campden Road – 90 homes
  • The SAP also focuses on policies for the development land for businesses with the aim of helping to address “a shortage of available and affordable smaller business floorspace in the district”.
  • The SAP includes a number of specific site proposals for employment/business land, including:
  • Alcester Road, near the Wildmoor roundabout, where 23 hectares of land could be made available for relocating business from the Canal Quarter in Stratford as well as providing space for new businesses.
  • Atherstone Airfield, which again could be used for relocating Canal Quarter businesses and other developments.
  • Shipston Road, Stratford, near the Rosebird Centre, could provide smaller units for start-ups as well as relocating Canal Quarter businesses.
  • The council’s Gateway project – the redevelopment of land between Arden Street and Henley Street and the building of a world-class Shakespeare Centre – is also included. The scheme has ambitions for improved parking (the Windsor Street car park need replacing), replacing the coach/bus station as well as enhancing the appearance of Greenhill Street.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon School also gets a mention as Warwickshire County Council has warned that secondary education capacity in Stratford needs to be looked at. An expansion scheme could see the school take over land, currently used as car park at its neighbour, Stratford College.

You can read the plan at https://tinyurl.com/2s3t55sp where there is also link to a form for comments. The deadline is 29th July.

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