Join group and have your say

Last week the Warwick edition of the Courier had an article regarding the possibility of forming a Friends of St Mary’s Lands Group to allow Warwick district residents and ratepayers to attempt to have some input into how the land is used in the future. It is sad that this now seems to be the only way that the voice of the majority of the users of the old ‘Warwick Common’ can be heard and I fully support the formation of any such group.

When, on September 13 2013, the Courier announced that a working party had been convened by the district council to look into how St Mary’s Lands should be used in the future, I had high hopes that the public would be involved. Not so. All the information so far is that only those with a ‘business’ and/or ‘commercial’ interest in the site are being allowed to contribute.

That is a far cry from the previous St Mary’s Lands Regeneration Project in 2001, when a full public consultation was held during December 2000 and January 2001. In the minutes of the Warwick District Council executive committee held on August 20, 2001, it was stated, relating to the response of the consultation, that “there was an almost unanimous agreement that the central area should be protected from further development”. The latest information from the GVA ‘master plan’ is to take away from public use a large section of that “central area” for a new caravan site and yet more car parking; all to further the aspirations of those using the previous common for business purposes.

So, if you value the continued public access to St Mary’s Lands, please consider joining the new group when it is formed.

Peter Kerr, Bread and Meat Close, Warwick