Bus operator threatens not to serve 200-home planned ‘mega cul-de-sac’ estate in Leamington

Stagecoach is among around 70 objectors to the East Whitnash estate, with developer AC Lloyd currently seeking planning approval for the final details of the development

A major bus operator has threatened not to serve a planned 200-home ‘mega cul-de-sac’ estate in south Leamington.

Developer AC Lloyd is seeking approval for the final details of the ‘East Whitnash’ development, off Chesterton Gardens in Sydenham.

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But Stagecoach has now lodged an objection to the plans along with nearly 70 others.

The East Whitnash development plan

Stagecoach Midlands Patrick Stringer said: “Accordingly, we re-emphasise that we could not look to extend our service 67 into the application site as currently proposed.

“There is no real provision within the proposed or immediately adjoining development to effectively support a commercially sustainable bus service.”

He added that the plans are out of keeping with Warwick District Council’s (WDC) Local Plan for housing up to 2029, and do not meet expectations of “proper and timely delivery of infrastructure to support development, and the support of measures to properly facilitate sustainable modes [of transport].”

Mr Stringer has also outlined the firm’s demands including reconsideration of the number of bus stops, services, and the directions from which they travel into the estate.

Most objections to the scheme are from residents, but they also include Warwickshire County Council’s Highways Authority, its Ecological Service and Leamington Spa Town Council.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western, who has lead the campaign against the development since 2015 - says the objections are a major blow to WDC and AC Lloyd.

Mr Western said: “These fresh objections are yet more evidence the proposed development is unsuitable and unsustainable.

“With no bus services, residents on the estate will have to walk 30 minutes or more to buy shopping from Morrisons and even further to get into Leamington.

“Residents and my Labour colleagues are rightly calling for firm plans to build a second access, which would ease the strain on Sydenham’s limited road capacity.

“But now bus services are under threat, it will push even more cars on to the narrow roads and make the estate seem even more inescapable.

“We’ve seen elsewhere in the district the problems of ‘island’ or cul-de-sac communities stranded with inadequate infrastructure.

“If regular and dependable bus services cannot be guaranteed, this damaging development must not go ahead.”

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