We don’t doubt motives but we don’t want houses

I am sure John Edwards’ reassurances (last week’s letters page) over the motives of the trustees and the benefits brought to Warwick by the Henry VIII and Oken’s Charities have never been in doubt. The evidence is that they are well run and that Warwick residents will go on benefiting in excess of £1m a year for many years to come.

What many of us doubt, however, is that in their desire to generate more income, the trustees really understand a) what their new development proposals will do to Warwick and b) how unhappy residents are about the potential effect of their plans on the town that the charities benefit.

Even ignoring the catastrophic effect on the local landscape and the environment of the countryside south of Warwick, 800 houses will generate over 2,000 new vehicle movements per day.

This will be a significant contributor to additional congestion, pollution and illegal levels of nitrous oxide that roads in and around Warwick town centre will suffer from the traffic generated by the 4000-plus new houses proposed for the south of Warwick and Leamington. Imagine the centre of Warwick with traffic from the proposed four and five lane Banbury Road funnelling into the narrow medieval streets. Pity us residents, visitors, cyclists and pedestrians. Even more, think of the poor businesses, restaurant and shop owners of Smith Street where parking will disappear to make way for the planned two lanes of traffic.

Sadly, I’m also afraid that despite your best intentions, your outline planning consent for a garden city is unlikely to bind a new owner. And remember, a developer is driven by profit and so a subsequent application for higher density, more intense development on your land, generating even more traffic, could be even worse for Warwick and would be hard for Warwick District Council to resist - even if they wanted to.

So, trustees, please go on benefiting Warwick but please, also, hang onto your assets. You really don’t have to sell to ensure that future generations benefit - rather the contrary.

David S. Williams, Bridge End, Warwick