Warwick people invited to speak up about future of town
WITH nearly a quarter of Warwick town centre up for sale or rent, there’s perhaps never been a better time for local people to visit one of the exhibitions intended to seek their views on possible development over the next 15 years.
A new website opens today (Friday) - and from tomorrow, the first of an eight-week series of static displays will go on show at various locations, starting with St Mary’s Church in Old Square.
It may already be too late to influence what happens to major historic sites like Northgate. But visitors to one of the mobile exhibitions will be able to chat to local authority staff and indicate their views on a range of “preferred options” encapsulated in a vision for the future.
The ideas - which incorporate windfall development sites and more ambitious plans to open up a stream close to St John’s House Museum - are not to be confused with the Local Plan on housing.
These have been put together by members of the Warwick Town Centre Partnership including the mayor, Cllr Elizabeth Higgins, members of the Warwick Society, the Chamber of Trade and other representatives of the town, district and county councils.
Personally, Clr Higgins has strong views on the control of traffic running along Jury Street and the number of car parks available in the town which studies from the revenues earned show they only operate at 40 per capacity.
She would like to reduce the size of several of these to free up building land. And, in an ideal world, the partnership’s idea would be to move county council staff from their Barracks Street multi-storey car park to the one in Linen Street.
“People say there is no land available in the middle of Warwick but we have identified several opportunity sites including possible development on some of our underused car parks.”
Other tourist towns also have Park and Ride schemes and Cllr Higgins would like to see better use of spare land at Hampton Road.
She added: “If nothing else a Park and Ride scheme would go a long way towards improving the air quality in the town which was one of the issues identified when we first consulted people about what they thought were the key issues facing the town centre in 2010.”
Seniro planner Lorna Coldicott said: “The choices people make revolve around whether they agree with the preferred option we have put forward under each category - and there are several for each - or whether they prefer one of the others that we have considered but then rejected.
“Or indeed if they have an idea that they think we should consider and have not already done so.”
Up to 25,000 townsfolk are welcome to give their views either in person or online.
It’s anticipated a completed ‘vision’ for the future document will then be published late next year and then submitted to the Government for approval with a view to it being formally adopted in 2014.
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Weather for Warwick
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
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