Tachbrook Country Park approved

Members of Warwick District Council’s executive committee have unanimously agreed to the creation of a new strip of country park to maintain the boundaries between Whitnash and Bishops Tachbrook and any new ‘garden suburbs’.

Land for the park would be acquired by local developers Gallagher, and at the moment is linked to a planning application to build 785 new homes south of Harbury Lane.

Gallagher would acquire the swathe of 49 acres of farmland to prevent further urban encroachment into the countryside, which already has planning consent for 2,000 new homes.

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In addition there is an appeal due to be heard in April against the council’s rejection of 900 more homes on The Asps west of Europa Way.

Consent for the Harbury Lane properties would be contingent on the land for the park being acquired by Gallagher and then sold on to the district council for the nominal sum of £1.

It’s then anticipated the district will raise £2.3 million for the creation and maintenance of what would be known as the Tachbrook Country Park.

This money would come from Section 106 agreements negotiated with the builders.

On Wednesday members of the committee were asked to consider whether £2.3 million would be enough money to deliver a country park which is in line with the Local Plan’s design for green spaces linked to existing cycle and footpaths.

A study by independent consultants suggests the sum would make it possible to create the park and maintain it for a period of 13 years.

In addition to essentials like walking and cycling routes, grassed areas and further tree planting, the consultants suggest that additional “aspirational” features could be added in the future as a result of sponsorship, management schemes and donations from other funding bodies.

Most villagers in Bishops Tachbrook have long opposed the idea of the new park.

Parish councillor Ray Bullen says the park would lie on heavily sloping ground running down to the Tach Brook and would not screen all the houses perched at the top of the hill.

Mr Bullen, a strong supporter of the Save Warwick campaign, said: “Few people want to see this agricultural land used for so many homes, or see a country park on what is a very unsuitable spot.”