THE urgency to develop a neighbourhood plan for Shipston has been highlighted now 70 houses are set to be built in the town following an appeal by developers.

The decision by the planning inspector to allow the houses on land south of Campden Road, next to Oldbutt Road in Shipston has prompted fears that the town’s infrastructure will struggle to cope.

Lib Dem councillor for Shipston, Richard Cheney, said: “Once again another 70 houses will be built in Shipston without regard to the infrastructure capability of the town or the surrounding landscape. With the schools and Medical Centre full to capacity this raises serious concern. Along with many others this application has been allowed due to the delay by the Stratford conservative councillors in adopting a local plan.” He said that the plans for 70 houses in Shipston may well have been rejected if a local planning policy had been established. Coun Cheney added: “It seems that we shall have to wait until at least April 2015 before this is likely. Meanwhile I am keen to support the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Shipston. Once adopted alongside the District Council’s planning policies this should ensure Shipston residents have a stronger say in how their town develops”

Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Chris Saint: “We cannot be rushed, else we would have a core strategy that will not pass the tests of the Planning Inspectorate, which is in nobody's interests. We have needed to comply with new guidance that has been signed off by the Coalition Government, including Lib-Dems. We shall be producing an NPPF compliant Core Strategy. At present only 49 councils, out of 326 only have one and we shall be well ahead of many others now that we are ready to submit out plan to the Government in September.”