1. How is this Referendum on the Kenilworth Plan organised?
The Referendum will be run by Warwick District Council just like a normal election. Poll cards will be delivered towards the end of October and postal votes sent out early in November. On November 15th polling stations will be open as usual for people to vote.
2. What is the question on the Voting Paper?
“Do you want Warwick District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Kenilworth to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?” The choices are “Yes” or “No”.
3. Who can vote in this Referendum?
All residents of the Town registered on the electoral roll including EU citizens but excluding overseas voters. This is exactly the same as a Town Council election.
4. What is the difference between a neighbourhood plan and a local plan?
The Warwick District Local Plan is the strategic plan which allocates the land for housing and other facilities and sets the overall planning policies for the whole District. The Kenilworth Town Neighbourhood Plan contains specific policies for the town reflecting the local environment and heritage and influencing the future growth, but it cannot override the strategic allocations.
5. Why do we need so many new houses?
Locally we don’t but the Government Inspector approving the District Local Plan required this area to take forecast overspill from Coventry, which is yet to occur.
6. Will anyone take any notice of it?
If supported by the people of Kenilworth at the Referendum on November 15th the Kenilworth Plan will carry as much legal weight as the District Plan in determining planning applications, large or small, in the town.
7. Where can I see a copy?
Reference copies of the 95-page document are available in the Library, the Kenilworth Centre and in the Town Council offices, but the whole plan is available for reading or download at: https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20444/neighbourhood_plans/1006/kenilworth
8. Why didn’t you ask my opinion?
The plan has followed consultation with numbers of groups and individuals over an extensive period including an initial survey which produced almost 1,800 responses. The Independent Examiner has praised us for the process followed.
9. Why did you ignore what I put in the consultation?
Not surprisingly whilst there was near unanimity about some matters, such a traffic volumes, there were very diverse and even opposing views on others, such as car parking. We have sought to produce a balance to benefit the maximum number of residents in the town. Additionally some good ideas were not related directly to the spatial planning issues which the plan is legally limited to and were removed by the Examiner, though we have retained some comments in an Annex.
10. Will the roads be able to cope?
Ultimately highways matters are the responsibility of the County Council and during the preparation of the Kenilworth Plan we had meeting with the officers. In the Plan we have listed a number of road junctions which we consider require improvement and have included policies relating to cycle ways, mobility scooters and pedestrians particularly in regard to connecting the new developments to the existing town centre.
11. Can we have better new houses that suit the Town?
We have attempted to require high standards of houses both environmentally and aesthetically but unfortunately it is not acceptable currently to go beyond the standards set in the District Local Plan.
12. Are there suitable houses for the young and old?
The mix of houses on any major development is set by the District and is specific to particular areas such as Kenilworth. It is therefore not necessary to duplicate that detail. Similarly the District policy will require 40% affordable housing on any development of 10 houses or more.
13. Who decides how the developers’ money is going to be spent?
Having a Neighbourhood Plan in place means that 25% of the CIL (Community Infrastucture Levy) raised from developments in the town will be controlled by the Town Council and is therefore ring fenced to be spent on projects and infrastructure in Kenilworth. Some possible projects are listed in Annex A of the Plan but priorities will have to be determined nearer the time.
14. How much has it all cost?
Preparing the Kenilworth Neighbourhood Plan has cost remarkably little; about 35 pence per resident. We did employ a consultant to advise and guide us and sought a small amount of additional professional help, but much of this cost was covered by a Grant we obtained from the Government. Most of the consultation, analysis and drafting has been by your Town Councillors and other residents working at no cost. We have also enjoyed great support from officers of the District Council who like us see this as a wise investment in the future of Kenilworth.