Warwick Society says garden suburbs will be ‘suburban sprawl’
THE chairman of the Warwick Society has hit out at the consultation process on the first of the new garden suburbs planned for the edge of the town - describing it as a “sham.”
James Mackay and other members of the society made a point of attending a presentation by developers Hallam Land Management held in St Nicholas church last week. They want to build 250 homes in a “garden suburb” setting in Gallows Hill.
Altogether the draft local plan for the district as a whole seeks to provide 10,800 homes over the next 16 years. Of these 2,700 would be in Gallows Hill area and to the west of Europa Way.
Council leader Mike Doody wants the district to be known for its “sustainable garden towns, suburbs and villages, with the appropriate infrastructure and design.”
But Mr Mackay says: “The four hour time slot given for people to examine the plans for the first of these so called garden suburbs was a sham. The design looked to be more suburban sprawl to me and and certainly the suggestion that residents could walk, rather than drive into town, was wrong.
“The town centre would not be a quarter of a mile away, it would be at least two thirds of a mile along the side of a main road.
“There would be no local primary school and no consideration had been given to the traffic generated by this new estate which would be on green fields, rather than utilising any of the more troublesome brownfield sites that are available.
“Yes, the developers did show they were planting trees. All the material in the exhibition concentrated on the internal lay-out of the housing estate, emphasising parks and trees - but there was a great deal of asphalt in between.”
Although people are also being invited to make comments on the proposals on a special website, Mr Mackay said: “It seems to me this is simply an opportunistic step by the developers who want to exploit the Government’s believe that all house building is good whatever the site and consequences.”
Most members of The Warwick Society do accept there is a case for some house building in the district.
But they stress the brownfield sites should be used up first, even though clearing the land inevitably costs potential developers more. They point out that if developers are allowed more green field sites why would they bother with the more difficult plots.
A Garden Suburbs and Villages prospectus is being published alongside the draft plan and sets out the proposals for a furhter 2,000 homes in Blackdown and Milverton, 770 on the edge of Kenilworth and 650 east of Whitnash.
The plan also aims to make 40 per cent of new homes ‘affordable’ to those on lower incomes.
To view the Hallam Land Management website and express your views on the Gallows Hill development visit www.fpcr.co.uk/consultation/?q=documents/58
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