Concerns over the impact a major housing development will have on roads and drainage in and around Kenilworth have prompted councillors to defer making a decision on the scheme.
Plans for up to 620 houses and a school on land to the east of the town off Glasshouse Lane and Crewe Lane were due to be considered at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday January 8 for the Warwick District Council.
But an email from Highways England just an hour before councillors sat down means the scheme, which forms part of East of Kenilworth urban extension, could now be on hold for up to three months.
Planning officers had hoped the plans would be agreed subject to them being signed off by Highways England at a later date.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the council’s legal expert Caroline Gutteridge explained: “As you look through the report you will see there are some outstanding issues that Highways England are yet to sign off.
"We had an email at 5 o’clock this evening from Highways England with a further holding directive asking that we do not grant permission for a period of up to three months.
“Officers’ views are that you can deal with this matter tonight and if your decision was to grant the application then that would be subject to final sign off from Highways England.
"If the outstanding issues could not be resolved then it would come back to you - permission would only be issued if Highways England were satisfied that everything was resolved.”
Councillors decided unanimously that although they were happy for officers to make their presentation so that members of the public who had turned up at the Leamington Town Hall meeting could see the plans, they were unwilling to debate the matter until the outstanding issues were resolved.
Cllr Terry Morris (Con Warwick Saltisford) said: “Highways is always a significant consideration on a major application like this and to therefore debate it when we haven’t got the facts in front of us I personally feel would be inappropriate.”
Cllr Martyn Ashford (Con Warwick Aylesford) added: “It is pointless considering this before we haven’t got the full case on highways grounds which was the most contentious issue on this application anyway.”