HS2 and housing threat to village

Long Itchington residents have met to discuss the impact the HS2 high-speed rail project will have on the village both during and after its construction.

More than 100 villagers attended an ‘awareness’ meeting at the community centre on Monday where concerns were raised about the proposals which could lead to the removal of a road to the north of the Welsh Road near Offchurch, which is regularly used by people in Long Itchington.

They are also worried about the possible disruption on the roads during the construction phase of the project.

Ian Briggs, chairman of the village’s parish council, said: “The road closures associated with the construction of HS2 caused deep concern. Residents had failed to appreciate that construction could potentially start within two years and extend for a decade. “We had conducted our own traffic survey, reported in detail last night, demonstrating how vital the link across the Fosse Way is.”

Potential housing developments on land in and around the village was also on the agenda.

Mr Briggs said: “The issue of multiple developments within the parish raised some very concerning issues – we could be in a position where the density of development is doubled in the forthcoming years – this issue was linked to the road closures and the subsequent pressures on local infrastructure.

“Good questions from the floor centred around drainage – we are in a flood area and a significant increase in development will only increase these problems.

“A show of hands demonstrated that there are few who have outright opposition to housing development but wish to see it being better managed by Stratford District Council.”

“Housing mix is a contentious issue. We have a large proportion of people who are seeking stay in the community but to downsize - a product of our aging community - and many who are seeking residential housing at affordable levels for younger people who wish to remain in the community.”

Villagers also received an update on plans for underground coal gasification - with extraction planned to taapke place in an area which runs between Bubbenhall and Long Itchington.

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