Residents on new Kenilworth development will have access to community facilities from next year – but not in a purpose-built centre
More than 500 homes are being built on former green belt land to the east of the town, a project that prompted considerable opposition from those living nearby and the town council.
And at the week’s full council meeting of Warwick District Council on Wednesday (October 19), leader Cllr Andrew Day (Com, Bishop’s Tachbrook) said the land earmarked for the new building would not be available until nearly two-thirds of the houses were occupied.
During the meeting, Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, Kenilworth St John’s) asked: “I wonder if Cllr Day could give us an update on progress and timetable for the design and delivery for the community facilities on the Thickthorn estate on the east of Kenilworth.
“We are in the process of building hundreds of houses in that area creating a skeleton of a place but it is in danger of being a skeleton without a heart and without a soul unless the community facilities are in there as well.”
The leader outlined a number of issues which meant that such a centre would not be built in the immediate future.
Cllr Day said: “As far as I understand it, you will have a brand new school with community facilities as a temporary measure opening next September.
“There is provision for a specific community centre to be provided for this area.
"The difficulty is that even though Persimmon Homes have acquired a site that will be used and planning is underway around it, no decision has been taken yet within this council about how this project will be delivered.
“We are in the process of trying to recruit a site delivery officer to take this on and bring reports to this council but it should be noted that while we have the land, it will only become available once we have occupation of 65 per cent of the dwellings on the site and the financial contributions are only triggered when there is 85 per cent occupancy.
“There may be proposals coming to this council to consider some forward funding against those section 106 receipts to bring the project on earlier.”