Latest applications for 1,000 homes on Warwick doorstep

The latest two planning applications for nearly 1,000 homes on the edges of Warwick are due to go before the district council next Tuesday - both with recommendations for approval.

Land off Europa Way between Leamington and Warwick which has been earmarked for development.
Land off Europa Way between Leamington and Warwick which has been earmarked for development.

One of the applications is from Warwickshire County Council which already owns much of the land north of Gallows Hill and is applying to the district for consent to commission the building of 425 properties, along with a community sports stadium, community hall and medical centre.

The stadium, situated alongside a proposed new spine road off Gallows Hill, is intended to accommodate Leamington Football Club, allowing its present ground off Harbury Lane to be used as a permanent Gypsy and traveller site.

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The facilities provided for the club would also be available for community use.

The second application is from Warwick-based builders AC Lloyd for 520 homes on land at Grove Farm, off Harbury Lane, Bishops Tachbrook.

Lloyds already has outline consent for 200 homes on the site but is looking to amend the layout and design of 90 of them following a raft of objections.

The latest proposals have equally come under protest from a number of directions - including most of the Warwick and Whitnash town councllors along with members of Bishops Tachbrook Parish Council.

Members of the Leamington Society, as well as the Warwick Society and Save Warwick group have also submitted a string of objections.

They have recently added what they believe is their trump card. The district council now has a supply of housing land to accommodate any new development over the next five years and should be under no obligation to approve fresh applications.

Protestors can also quote the publication of the Government’s Office for National Statistics’ revised figures which show the population for Warwick District is unlikely to grow at anything like the rate previously predicted.

James Mackay, chairman of the Warwick Society, said: “There is absolutely no need for either of these housing applications to be approved now because the earliest the homes could be built would be 2020. There is certainly no market for them at the moment.

“We have argued about the increased congestion on our roads and in the past the council have countered this by saying they did not have a five year supply of available housing land.

“Now they do and so there is absolutely no need for any new applications to be approved until the Local Plan goes to the public inquiry due to start on May 6.”

Cllr Ray Bullen, who sits on Bishops Tachbrook Parish Council, said: “These 1,000 new homes should be left until a need for them is properly established.”

He said approving the 520 homes at Grove Farm, even with the proposed strip of country park acting as a buffer zone, would still be far too intrusive on the Tachbrook Valley.

Save Warwick campaigners particularly object to the impact the Gallows Hill development would have on local heritage, especially the setting of any new garden suburb so close to Warwick Castle.