2. Local Plan Strategy


The Planning and Development service and their activities are very important in achieving the vision of both the Council and wider community. 


Over the Plan period we will strive to:

  • Play our strategic part by restraining new development and providing for new development sufficient to meet, but not exceed strategic requirements,
  • Make our settlements more sustainable through appropriate development and improvements, including better transport facilities and by recognising local character and distinctiveness,
  • Protect our countryside from inappropriate development and seek to protect, preserve and enhance the Borough’s natural, cultural and historic heritage,
  • Add quality to all development proposals and in significant developments to pursue legal agreements for mitigation and improvements.

Core Policies and Justifications

Core Policy 1 - Social and Economic Regeneration

The Local Plan will support the economic and social regeneration of the area, primarily by seeking to ensure local people have access to a range of high quality employment, housing, shopping, leisure, education and other community facilities. 


The historic land use pattern of the Borough is influenced by activities and operations that have served nearby and wider urban populations. These include coal mining, sand and gravel, quarrying and large-scale utilities particularly on the western fringes of the Borough. Most of these activities were concerned with energy from fossil fuels, winning raw materials, processing, storage and distribution. These uses have undergone major transformation in the past 30 years with evident impacts in the locality. The greatest of these has been the decline in mining, with Daw Mill as the only surviving colliery, and a legacy of community and environmental issues across a large part of the Borough. Redevelopment of the former Kingsbury and Birch Coppice collieries and Hams Hall Power Station have provided employment development of regional significance because of their location on road and rail transport routes and their proximity to the conurbation. There is now a clearly recognisable economic corridor running north-south through the western side of the Borough. The Plan proposal for a new multi-modal transport interchange at Coleshill / Hams Hall will enhance the status of this corridor and offer a greater choice of sustainable transport. 

Core Policy 2 - Development Distribution

  1. The settlements identified in Categories 1, 2, and 3 in Appendix 2: Settlement Hierarchy indicate the Main Towns, Green Belt Market Town and Local Service Centres within the development boundaries of which development for employment, housing (including affordable housing), services and other facilities will be permitted, at a scale proportionate to their position in the Borough’s settlement hierarchy and where such development would maintain or enhance the function of the settlement.
  2. In other settlements with development boundaries defined on the Proposals Map, housing development will be limited to that for which a local affordable housing need has been identified.
  3. Outside the development boundaries and except where other policies of the Plan expressly provide, development will be limited to that requisite for agriculture, forestry or other uses that can be shown to require a rural location.

Sustainable development is the primary planning policy in North Warwickshire. Development restraint will help protect and enhance the Borough as an area of pleasant countryside with Market Towns and local service centres by preventing the incursion of nearby urban areas. This will benefit those who currently live in, work in and visit the Borough and future generations and ensure that development more appropriate to urban areas goes there. 


The spatial pattern of the Borough is Market Towns providing services for their hinterlands with limited growth spread on a sustainable basis to smaller settlements where local services exist. The growth opportunities in the western corridor have been fully exploited in recent years, therefore the themes of employment consolidation and environmental improvement will predominate through the life of the Plan in this area. The Council has with the support of Consultants, produced a sustainability framework to assist the distribution of limited growth. It has done this by overlapping a number of factors. These include proximity to employment and public transport, existing facilities and needs in settlements. All settlements have been reviewed to consider the extent of change and their sustainability. The result is the establishment of a limited settlement hierarchy, developed and understood from a bottom up perspective. This spans Main Towns, and a Green Belt Market Town, through to Local Service Centres, then settlements with a Development Boundary and finally small hamlets washed over in Countryside or Green Belt designations. 


Sustainability Consultants have validated the results of this work and the policies in the Plan as a whole. Local needs have been defined through our innovative approach to Plan preparation alongside Community Plan consultation and from housing and employment information. In effect the Local Plan looks at sustainability, regeneration and spatial issues from a bottom up basis. The WASP sets out a broad distribution pattern for development, with the majority of development being directed to the Main Towns. The Local Plan seeks to develop this in order to achieve vibrant sustainable communities within a sustainable pattern of development. Appendix 2 sets out the settlement hierarchy for the Borough. The result is that, Atherstone with Mancetter and Polesworth with Dordon, are the Main Towns where the majority of development will be directed. Coleshill is recognised as a Green Belt Market Town due to its range of services and facilities; and, there are five Local Service Centres located throughout the Borough, which provide important local services and facilities. Housing growth has been distributed to the Main Towns, then to the Green Belt Market Town and then to Local Service Centres. In settlements, villages and hamlets beyond these, only development that will provide for local housing needs and help to support local services will be permitted. This hierarchy underpins many of the policies within the Plan. 


The resulting settlement hierarchy has been used to guide the sequential search for housing capacity and the scale and distribution of housing allocations in policy HSG1, between the Main Towns, Coleshill and Local Service Centres. WASP Policy GD3 seeks the majority of development to be directed to the Main Towns. If the RSS continues with its present strategy more than 51% of new housing will be directed to the Main Towns after 2007 (This will be an issue returned to in the Council’s Housing DPD to be prepared as part of its new Local Development Framework). In the rural areas, the balance of the WASP requirement is to be distributed between the Green Belt Market Town and Local Service Centres according to local needs. 


If plan monitoring shows that this distribution is not being maintained in development control decisions, the position will be redressed either by the production of a future DPD or other policy document. 


The typology in Appendix 3 gives an indication of the range of services and facilities that would be expected in a Local Service Centre. The Local Service Centre typology and settlement hierarchy has also been used to prepare development control policies elsewhere in the Plan and will be used in their application, with a view to steering development to those settlements that offer the greatest opportunities to deliver a sustainable pattern of development. In order to have viable communities it is very important that the services and facilities identified are not lost and indeed are enhanced. 

Core Policy 3 - Natural and Historic Environment

All development decisions will seek to protect or enhance biodiversity, natural habitats, the historic environment, and existing landscape and townscape character. 


North Warwickshire is characterised by distinctive and open countryside with the market towns of Atherstone, Polesworth and Coleshill and many small villages and hamlets. Much of the Borough is made up of large country estates, and the open character of the countryside is in part due to their existence. The overwhelming land use is agriculture, often in extensive estates and accompanied by countryside recreation. The Borough has many Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, Regionally Important Geological Sites and Parks and Gardens of Historical Interest. 


This part of the County, close to Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry, enjoys good quality strategic road access. As a result there is pressure for housing and employment investment to serve these major urban areas. Closer are the towns of Nuneaton, Bedworth and Tamworth and the Birmingham suburbs of Solihull and Chelmsley Wood. To the south-west is the NEC and Birmingham Airport. 


The Borough’s economy has undergone major change but it has successfully diversified with redevelopment of redundant mines and new recreation and tourism development particularly in the western corridor around the M42. North Warwickshire is the home of the Belfry Hotel and Aston Villa FC's training facilities. 


Because of the area's natural assets and locational growth pressure the primary planning policy will continue to be growth restraint. This is reflected in the policies of the Regional Spatial Strategy, the County Structure Plan and carries forward one of the key features of the former Local Plan.


This should not be regarded as a negative planning policy; rather it is a tool to help promote the regeneration of urban areas in the region by directing growth and investment pressure into declining areas of towns. Within the Borough this will assist in achieving regeneration of our Market Towns particularly through mixed-use development. At the same time it allows the primary assets of the Borough - its countryside and settlements - to be protected and enhanced. Policies to protect and improve the Countryside beyond defined settlement boundaries will continue and are developed in the Plan. Green Belt policy operates over two thirds of the Borough. 

Core Policy 4 - Green Belt

The openness of the Green Belt in the Borough will be maintained and there will be a general presumption against inappropriate development. 


Green Belt policy is a facet of National planning policy and around Birmingham is also an important component of Regional planning policy, established among other things to control the outward growth of the conurbation. It extends across the southern part of the Borough and by seeking to maintain openness in this area, has considerable influence on the overall distribution of development in North Warwickshire. Proposals for development will be considered in the light of the advice contained in PPG2 (or it’s successor) as outlined in ENV2. 


The economic upheaval of changes in the mining industry is still a locally important factor particularly for relatively isolated former mining communities, for families with mining in their history and in the provision of services. 

Core Policy 5 - Development in Towns and Villages

In making provision for new development, the Local Plan will promote and support the vitality and viability of the Borough’s Main Towns, Green Belt Market Town and selected villages. 


Atherstone grew as a town through its association with agriculture and because of its location in relation to Watling Street, and the canal and railway network. It still exhibits a historic street pattern with many fine old buildings, a market place / church square and numerous pubs and banks. The town is unique particularly because of its association with the production of felt hats and there are still several reminders of this. The need here is to accommodate development necessary to promote Atherstone’s role as a main town and the Civic focus of the Borough while protecting the historic character and scale of the town centre and providing enhanced facilities accessible to the community as a whole. Mancetter shares a contiguous development boundary with Atherstone and is considered as part of the Main Town. However locally it is considered a settlement in its own right. 


Polesworth is an historic market town established at a crossing of the River Anker. It exhibits a typical pattern of streets and buildings, the latter including Polesworth Abbey. Dordon is of much more recent origin and grew through the development of housing for workers at the nearby collieries, which included Birch Coppice. Although having now become contiguous settlements, both retain distinctive identities, which both communities wish to retain. Nevertheless, they are to be regarded as a single entity in strategic planning terms as they are recognised by WASP as being one of the broad locations for future growth. As centres of population they offer the best prospect of expanding public transport and other services and facilities. A major challenge for the Plan is therefore to ensure that development growth here makes a positive contribution to sustainability by embracing a mix of housing and other uses supported with all the necessary infrastructure and services while protecting the separate identity of the two distinct communities. 


Coleshill has a long employment association with utilities and agriculture. It has an historic core and links with Birmingham suburbs for jobs and services. Given the location of Coleshill in the Green Belt, the main thrust of policy here will be to accommodate development necessary to maintain the continuing prosperity of this historic market town while avoiding outward pressure on and within the surrounding countryside. 


There are approximately fifty villages in the Borough ranging from former mining settlements where incomes are generally low and deprivation significant, to more affluent settlements where many residents commute to work in towns outside the Borough. A small number of these villages have been identified as Local Service Centres in recognition of their size and locational advantages in being best able to offer a range of services and facilities, including employment opportunities and public transport, to residents from smaller surrounding villages and the rural area in general.

Core Policy 6 - Local Services & Facilities

The Local Plan will protect and support local services and facilities across the Borough and will ensure community involvement in the consideration of the means of achieving this.


Lengthy and wide consultation, particularly through the joint approach in developing the Local Plan and Community Plan, has led to a clear understanding of local needs, opportunities and aspirations. The Community Plan view of North Warwickshire as a ‘Community of communities’ has important implications for sustainability, provision of services and the consideration of the limited growth opportunities. In particular the strong concern to maintain all settlements, the quality of life in these, local employment and quality of the countryside have worked to shape this Local Plan. This is evident in the allocation of housing sites, policies on community facilities and work on sustainable settlements and services and the hierarchy of these. Indeed these themes pervade the whole of the Plan and planning strategy. A settlement hierarchy and the type of services and facilities expected to either be present or have the potential to be provided, particularly in the Local Service Centres has been developed. It is expected however that over time Local Communities will make an important contribution to refining the typology at Appendix 3, particularly in response to paragraphs 40 to 44 of PPS1. Parish Plans may be a mechanism that local Communities could use. Policies ECON12 and COM2 are directly linked to this Core Policy. As with affordable housing it is, however, important to highlight the relatively limited ability of planning to provide and sustain services in remoter settlements, particularly against market and commercial trends that continue to operate locally and nationally. 

Core Policy 7 - Housing Land Requirement

Planned provision will be made for a maximum of 1850 dwellings to be completed within the plan area in the period 2001-2011. To this end, some 16 ha of land will be made the subject of site-specific allocations and proposals for housing development to meet the residual requirement of a maximum of 646 completed dwellings in the period 31st March 2005 to 31st March 2011. 


This policy indicates the maximum amount of housing that is required during the remaining Plan period to accord with the RSS and to follow the general thrust of the WASP in terms of the proportion of housing being directed to North Warwickshire. The RSS figure is a maximum figure and as such should not be exceeded whereas the WASP figure was a target and seen as a minimum. A 10% proportion of the total RSS housing requirement for Warwickshire has been used to calculate the Borough’s requirement. This has then been annualised to achieve the requirement up to 2011. This proportion is the same as that used in the distribution of the housing numbers to the Warwickshire Districts under WASP and so reflects the general thrust behind of the WASP. The housing figures start from 2001 in accordance with Government advice. 


The supply of housing is made up of completions (sites already completed), commitments (sites with planning permission), windfalls (unidentified sites coming forward for development during the Plan period) and site allocations / proposals within this Plan. A windfall allowance of 60 units per annum is assumed for the remaining Plan period. In the past the actual windfall amount has consistently exceeded this figure and there is sufficient leeway for this to continue.

Table 1: Housing Requirement 

Requirement 2001 - 2011 (Completed Dwellings)
1852 (say 1850)
Dwellings completed 2001 - end March 2005
495 (net)
Local Plan residual requirement April 2005-end March 2011 (Row A - Row B)
Existing Commitments (permissions) at end March 2005
Reduce the sum of Rows D and E by 10%
Dwelling allocations requirement (Row C - Row F)
Land allocations requirement (Assumed average density of 40dph)
16.15 Ha

10% of the commitments and projected windfalls have been deducted to give an allowance for non-implementation of planning permissions during the Plan period. There are three main reasons for this – a historic non-implementation rate of 5%; increased focus on smaller sites; and a reduction in future windfalls due to increased restrictions in rural areas. Windfalls are likely to continue to decline in a plan-led system, especially where past patterns of development have resulted from a regime more permissive of housing building in rural areas than would now be considered appropriate. Table 1 indicates the amount of housing that is required for the remaining Plan period. 


The Plan’s housing provisions in HSG1 represents only part of the site-specific allocations and proposals necessary to ensure adequate housing land supply during the Plan period. This reflects the transitional nature of the Plan and the constraints imposed by the need for early transfer to the system of Local Development Frameworks established under the 2004 Act. Provision has been made in the approved LDS to bring forward a Housing DPD document as soon as practicable. This will result in sufficient site-specific provision to ensure an adequate supply of housing up to 2011 and a 10-year housing land supply.

Core Policy 8 - Affordable Housing

A minimum of 40% of dwellings completed in the period from 31st March 2004 to 31st March 2011 is to be in the form of locally affordable housing. Site-specific housing allocation and proposals together with the Plan’s other housing policies are formulated to deliver, in combination, this overall proportion. 


The WASP sets an indicative target in Policy H.2 (Affordable Housing) of 1300 affordable housing units from 1996 to 2011 for the Borough. Generally affordable housing is defined as housing that is non-market for those whose need is not met by the market. National guidance indicates that this can include socially rented and intermediate housing. 


Housing needs surveys are a key method of providing important information on affordability, extent of need, tenure and size of accommodation. The Council undertook a housing needs survey in 2003 to provide up to date information for the second deposit of the Plan. This information, in conjunction with the 1999 survey, gives a clear indication that affordable housing needs to be a key priority in the delivery of new housing in the Borough. 


The cost of housing has risen dramatically over recent years mirroring the national picture. Average property prices now range from around £76,500 for 1-bedroom properties to around £223,750 for 4 bedroom properties (HNS 2003). Prices across the Borough are fairly similar except for Coleshill where the mid-range price is higher than average. 


The HNS 2003 looked at the minimum entry price of properties to assess what people could afford, thus showing the true level of housing need. It did not use average house prices as this can hide the minimum price at which someone can enter the housing market. The minimum entry price paid, as indicated by the 2003 survey, was £65,000 for a 1 bedroom dwelling up to £143,000 for a 4-bedroom dwelling. Minimum rents were estimated to vary between £320 and £490 per month (HNS 2003). 


Income levels give an important indication of housing affordability. Within North Warwickshire the average household income was £26,700 in February 2003 (household income levels in Warwickshire, February 2003, Warwickshire County Council). However, the housing needs survey March 2003 showed an average household income of £23,487 before the addition of benefits. 


The average income, just like the average price for a house, can hide the full range of incomes. 65.7% of households in the Borough earn less than £28,000 and over 20% earn less than £10,000 (HNS 2003). Low earnings are a particular issue in Atherstone Central and Dordon wards. There are also considerable differences in income levels between tenure groups, ranging from £33,820 (owner occupied with mortgage) down to £7,144 (registered social landlord (RSL)) (HNS 2003).


The need for affordable housing as identified by the HNS considerably exceeds, on an annualised basis, the overall WASP housing requirement for the Borough. This causes a particular difficulty in North Warwickshire because the analysis further shows that the ratio of income to house prices / market rental in the Borough is such that all but a very small proportion (some 3.8%) of the affordable housing need would only be met by socially rented housing. In North Warwickshire therefore “local affordable housing” relates to socially rented housing provided by a Registered Social Landlord, or housing of a similar standard that is available at an equivalent or lower cost (in terms of weekly or monthly repayments or rent). Socially rented accommodation is therefore not the only provision of local affordable housing but is a means of comparison to ensure that the housing that is provided is affordable for those in housing need in North Warwickshire. Intermediate housing, such as shared ownership or discounted market housing (in perpetuity), whether provided by an RSL or by a private developer, will only be able to satisfy a very small proportion of the local housing need (some 3.8%). Such housing will only become affordable locally if it compares in terms of standard (size / security of tenure / facilities) and monthly outgoings for rent / mortgage to the rent paid in the socially rented sector. 


The delivery of affordable housing has suffered because of the low levels of provision in the last plan period. As a result, provision of affordable housing is the main priority for the future. ‘Right to buy’ / acquire has exacerbated the local situation leaving a dwindling supply of housing held by the Council or Registered Social Landlords. In villages with a population of less than 3000 it is possible to curtail the right to acquire from RSL’s. Lower thresholds and higher percentages than those prescribed in PPG3 are justified and pursued in the Plan, and sites are identified to provide exclusively for affordable housing. A further Plan measure is the restriction to only meet local affordable housing need in rural settlements. 


Although these policies and proposals will make a difference, it should be recognised that local incomes and needs are such that the planning system cannot be expected to provide all that is required. The Council’s Housing Strategy is being constrained by priorities within existing stock. There is a lack of resources to bring forward social housing on allocated sites. 


Any local affordable housing will have a cascade of eligibility from local ward up to Borough level. It is important that the housing provided caters for the local affordable housing need and that this is maintained as such in perpetuity. In the first place, priority will be given to those who currently live or work in the ward where the development is taking place. Secondly, the needs of those living in adjacent wards will be considered followed then by the wider needs of the Borough. Those who have been offered a job in North Warwickshire and need to move into the area but cannot afford a house will also be eligible if they can provide proof of the job offer. 


Planning conditions will be imposed or planning obligations be sought in order to ensure that affordable housing provision is provided in a way that meets local needs and is locally affordable in perpetuity. 


A monitoring target has been set to ensure that during the period April 2004 – March 2011 40% of the dwellings completed are affordable. 

Core Policy 9 - Employment Land Requirement

Provision has been made for development of 279 hectares of industrial land within the Plan area in the period 1996-2011. Monitoring of supply indicates that this level of provision had already been exceeded by end March 2004 and no new employment land beyond existing commitments and the phased rollover of land from the 1995 Local Plan is therefore made the subject of site-specific allocations in this Plan. 


Employment land supply in North Warwickshire has far exceeded the target of 279 hectares as expressed in WASP by March 2004 with seven years of the plan period remaining as outlined in Table 2 below. A large amount of the over supply can be attributed to sites that cater for much wider needs such as Hams Hall and Birch Coppice, rather than the small indigenous businesses which predominate the Borough. As a result of this oversupply employment land within the Borough needs to be restrained. However a total ban on redevelopment of existing industrial sites would have a damaging effect on small local businesses. It is for this reason that limited employment development is permitted. In ECON1 development is permitted where it falls within the GDPO. ECON4 makes provision for small managed workshops up to a maximum floorspace and there are also limitations on the amount of floorspace permitted as a result of farm diversification (ECON8) or conversion of rural buildings (ECON9).

Table 2: Employment Land Provision

A WASP Requirement 1996-2011 279 ha


North Warwickshire
Provision up to
March 2004

(i) Completed 216.23 ha

348.56 ha

(ii) Under Construction 36.48 ha
(iii) Permitted 94.65 ha
(iv) Available, not yet permitted 1.02 ha
Over Supply (B – A)69.56 ha

Core Policy 10 - Agriculture and the Rural Economy

The Local Plan will support agriculture and promote agricultural diversification to underpin the rural economy. 


The Borough's spatial and regeneration strategy is closely connected to its history. Regional and sub regional economic strategies recognise the area as remote and rural. Changes in mining and agriculture have had a profound effect on job opportunities and community life. There are pockets of deprivation and these are significant enough for large areas of the Borough to be identified for European Objective 2 and 3 support. Unfortunately as a whole, the Borough has not been recognised in regional strategy as a Rural Regeneration Zone, although it exhibits all the features of the Shires west of the conurbation and in addition suffers the legacy from mining. The primary regeneration approach will be to support Market Towns and their hinterlands, which cover most of the Borough. This should, in time, work to create an increasing influence on current planning and economic development activity, other services of the Council and those of our Local Strategic Partnership. 


Paragraph 3 of PPS7 makes clear that the focus of most new development in rural areas should be in or near local service centres where a range of services and facilities can be provided. This is the main thrust of CP2. Core Policy 2 deals with a much more limited range of development that may be acceptable in what is referred to as “largely undeveloped countryside that separates cities, towns and villages” in paragraph 4 of PPS7. The type of development considered in PPS7 to be appropriate in these areas is that which can deliver diverse and sustainable farm enterprises as well as other country-based enterprises and activities that contribute to a rural economy and / or promote recreation in, and enjoyment of the countryside. Within the Economy Chapter policies ECON8 and ECON9 will be of particular relevance.

Core Policy 11 - Quality of Development

All development will be required to be well designed and to respect and / or enhance its surroundings. 


In addition to delivering suitable forms of development in appropriate locations, a main objective of this Local Plan is to promote high quality development at all times. Policies in this Plan, in particular those in Chapter 3 - Environment, are formulated with this objective in mind. Quality developments rely on a combination of factors including aesthetics of the buildings (ENV7 / ENV16) how water is dealt with (ENV8) and how development fits within the landscape, both rural and urban (ENV5 / ENV12 / ENV13 / ENV14). Other policies play an equal part in the achievement of quality developments such as how access is gained to a site and how cars and lorries are treated within a scheme. All are crucial in achieving high quality developments within the Borough. 

Core Policy 12 - Implementation

The Plan’s policies and proposals will be implemented by working in constructive partnership with funding agencies and service providers, by the grant or refusal of planning permission, and by the use of planning conditions and obligations, to secure:

  • Establishment and maintenance of sustainable communities and patterns of development including the provision of affordable housing;
  • Protection and enhancement of the environment and mitigation of the environmental impact of past and proposed development of land; and,
  • Provision of necessary services, facilities and infrastructure to meet the demands of new development. 

The Council believes that Planning is a positive and proactive process. Considerable importance is attached to the need to ensure that local communities in North Warwickshire have reasonable access to a range of services and facilities: A number of factors underpin the importance of planning agreements and Section 106 funds in North Warwickshire;-

  • The area is relatively remote with a small but dispersed population and this has an impact on the cost of service provision.
  • The Authority has a history of working in partnership with developers to secure and deliver local benefits through the Planning process.
  • The area does not benefit from any significant UK, regional nor EU regeneration regimes.
  • There are significant public concerns to ensure the impacts of development are mitigated.
  • Again, there is public concern to maintain the provision of local services that are vital to community life.
  • Limited Council resources reflecting a small and rural population. 

The Council will look to developers to contribute effectively to maintaining and developing local Quality of Life through high standards of development, the type and character of buildings and uses proposed and from measures of the type referred to in paragraph 16 of PPS1. This may be required by planning conditions or sought in the form of Planning Obligations in accordance with Circulars 11/95 and 05/05 respectively (or their successors).


The policies give a framework within which assessments will be made. These will be supplemented, where necessary, over time by further advice in the form of guidance notes and Supplementary Planning Documents. 


Statement of Public Involvement

Local Plan Issues Consultation 

The findings of the Issues Consultation are given in: “Report On Local Plan Issues Consultation”, published in 2000 by the Borough Council. As may be expected, there were significant differences in opinions from one electoral ward to another. 


The main finding in the report, was:

‘Local people feel strongly that North Warwickshire is a rural area. They value this highly and want to retain and improve this feature. People also have a strong commitment to their individual villages and towns. They are not adverse to new development, however they feel strongly that more needs to be done in order to ensure that local character and facilities are respected and that urbanisation is kept in check’. 


It was revealed that:

The key priorities for improvement in our towns and villages were public transport services, youth facilities, and local shops and services, followed by improvements to footpaths/pavements, cycleways, residential parking, community parks, and public car parking. 


Local Plan Settlements Consultation

During the statutory Local Plan Issues Consultation, many people expressed the view that the issues were too broad, and they would like to discuss their own town or village specifically. The Council met this request, and workshops were held to discuss all settlements in the Borough in September and October 2001. This is believed to be the first occasion in the Country where individual workshops have been held for each settlement during a Local Plan consultation process, and is an example of good practice.


Concerns expressed at each workshop varied widely. Most frequently expressed concerns were:

  • Public transport and the bus services (20 settlements)
  • Need for Affordable Housing (18 settlements)
  • Protected spaces and improved access (18 settlements)
  • New employment, traffic and other issues (18 settlements)
  • Youth provision and safety (16 settlements) 

Local Plan Review Consultations

In addition to the extensive public consultation, there have been over thirty meetings of the Local Plan Steering Group. This Group is comprised of Borough Councillors from the Committees and Boards concerned with the Borough's future development, and as such provides an ongoing input from elected representatives. Of particular importance has been close work on housing issues through the involvement of a leading housing member. 


The publication of Proposed Modifications provided a further opportunity for views from the public to be incorporated. 


Future Public Involvement

The Council is keen to maintain the emphasis it has placed on Community involvement in Planning as well as its other work. It has established Area Forums, which are being used by the public to raise issues of planning concern. 


A feature of our Development Control practice is the early reporting of major applications on an issues basis to the Planning and Development Board. We also establish task and finish groups of members to provide regular feedback and sounding to officers on major applications. We will extend the membership of these groups with invitations to Parish and Town Councillors to participate. Issues reports will also be sent to Parish and Town Councils for information. 


The Planning and Development service is also heavily involved in Market Towns and Economic Development work - indeed these functions are located in the same division of the service. These avenues provide regular exchanges with Market Towns communities and small businesses as well as Business Groups brought together to represent major employers in areas like Hams Hall and Coleshill. These groups were used to help prepare the Councils Best Value review of Economic Development and to jointly prepare an Economic Strategy to run through the Plan period. 


Finally, continuing our joint consultation work with the Community Plan, through the Local Strategic Partnership (which brings together all the major partners providing services in North Warwickshire) we will follow this work up with presentations and debate on issues raised and how the Local Plan is responding to this. 


The policies of this Local Plan will be monitored through the Council’s Annual Monitoring Report. The results of this monitoring will be shared with partners. This will be a crucial element of our ongoing review of the Plan exemplified, by the process we have started with the Urban Capacity Study and the achievement of housing targets. 

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