Coventry City Council may be forced to allow between 21,000 and 24,000 new homes to be built – more than double the figure it wanted.
Warwick District Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth are also facing much higher numbers than expected – after Coventry and Warwickshire councils commissioned a joint study of housing need.
The new figure for Coventry emerging from the consultant’s study is between 21,000 and 24,000 homes by 2031.
The study comes after intervention from a government planning inspector.
Coventry council’s Labour leaders had hoped to set a housing target of just 11,000 homes – after an election pledge that they would protect all green belt and green fields from housebuilding.
That plan was a third of the 33,000 target for Coventry and bordering land set under the last Tory council and Labour government.
But a planning inspector earlier this year ordered the study, warning the council’s 11,000 target could unfairly disproportionately force more housebuilding in neighbouring areas.
The new figures are set to inform the new “Core Strategy” local plan, which will set Coventry’s housing targets for two decades.
They would have to be approved by the council – but any rejection could fall foul of the planning inspectorate.
The previous core strategy before 2010 planned 26,500 homes for the city and 33,000 once neighbouring land was included.
The plans included controversial plans to build hundreds of homes of green belt in Keresley, King’s Hill near Finham and on land in Bedworth – prompting protests from residents.
Developers are eyeing up the land in Keresley once again, and have made a speculative application to Coventry’s planning department. The last local plan for the city has now expired, giving the council less legal power to reject development on the green belt.
Coun Kevin Maton, chairman of Coventry’s planning committee, insisted the council could still protect all green fields under the new proposals.
He said: “We don’t want to become a commuter city. Green space is crucial.”
Defending the previous target of 11,000 homes, he said: “It was based on population and the amount of employment we could expect in Coventry.” [Err it was capacity based how far did you get with that cllr?]
The study says Nuneaton and Bedworth should build 8,600 new homes; Warwick district 13,200; Stratford 9,600; and North Warwickshire 3,000. Rugby has a target of 11,500.