Between 2018 and 2031, up to 10,000 new homes will be built across a list of approved sites in North Warwickshire. These homes will provide accommodation for commuters to Birmingham and London, as well as the revived manufacturing and energy sectors in Coventry. Projects have already began on hundreds of affordable properties in Ansley Common and Hartshill. Future housebuilding areas have so far been ring fenced in Coventry, Tamworth, Atherstone, Mancetter, Polesworth and Dorden.
Investment In Housing
Even this ambitious plan falls short of the strategies set out between 2014 and 2016, which suggested 33 new housebuilding sites. Despite the growth in the economy in North Warwickshire, investment in housing infrastructure has lagged behind other parts of the country. The new housebuilding strategy goes some way to redress this balance, and will hopefully give a boost to local businesses undergoing expansion plans. It will also provide accommodation for graduates of Coventry University and Warwick University, who are frequently forced to leave the area for lack of affordable housing.
The houses themselves will be a mixed portfolio, with many of them being 2 to 3 bedroom starter homes, plus 4 to 5 bedroom large family homes and urban apartment blocks. This housing plan is independent of the student accommodation boom in and around Coventry, which is seeing millions of pounds being invested in construction projects to house students of the two universities.
Housebuilding strategy is dictated by Local Plans, which are created by district councils with the input of local businesses and community groups. Local Plans are organised on a descending hierarchy, with each public body having responsibility for managing and implementing its own plan, from the county down to the parish level.
The Warwick District Local Plan, of which the new housing development forms apart, was initiated in 2011 and is due to run until 2029. It began with a wide-ranging consultation on local issues and scenarios, including a review of the economic impact of new housing and the effects on the environment. While many parts of the country are seeing swathes of green belt land sacrificed for new housing, conservation seems to be high on the agenda of the Warwickshire planners. Of the 33 suggested sites (five have been authorised so far) only four are greenbelt locations.
The Outlook For The Construction Sector
For the construction sector, the housing strategy provides opportunities for ongoing work for the next 15 years. Supporting this will no doubt be a wave of house extensions and renovations, as property owners seek to capitalise on increasing prices by improving their homes. This is a welcome change for Coventry businesses, as all too often housebuilding projects favour businesses within reach of the core housebuilding areas in London and the south-east.
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