‘Why has nobody listened to our views?’ Councillors protest after housebuilding plans published
COUNCILLORS in Warwick say the views of local people have simply been ignored as the district starts the next phase of consultation on housing development over the next 14 years.
Across the district as a whole sites for some 10,900 homes have been identified.
But councillors like Anne Mellor (Con, Warwick South), say the 4,500 earmarked for Warwick remains virtually the same as the original consultation plan that 97 per cent of people voted against.
Cllr Mellor, who will be attending a presentation at Warwick Gates community centre starting at 6.30pm next Thursday (June 21) says: “I know people will feel let down and that their views have not been listened to when there are the same proposals for 2,000 houses on both sides of Gallows Hill and the Heathcote Farm area.”
Deputy Warwick mayor Cllr Bob Dhillon (Con, Warwick West) agreed, saying: “What disappoints us is that council officers seem to have ignored the results of the consultation, leaving people feeling disillusioned and that the whole process was just a waste of their time.
“Any new housing should be spread throughout the district - not allowed to destroy Warwick with 40 to 45 per cent coming here.”
Town clerk Derek Maulin is also disappointed that the developers have not modified their plans for so many homes in Gallows Hill and the Lower Heathcote Farm area.
He says: “My preliminary scrutiny of the district plan up to 2026 seems to indicate that the original proposals for Warwick have simply been repeated regardless of them being overwhelmingly rejected.”
James Mackay, chairman of the Warwick Society, points to the already rapid expansion of Warwick in a single generation during which the population has grown from 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Mr Mackay said: “The idea of Warwick being a town in a countryside setting is already fragile. Now the developers want to fill in all the gaps including using precious green belt land.
“What is particularly shameful is that old brownfield land, like the Potterton’s site, has still not been built on despite having planning consent for hundreds of flats.”
It seemed to him the developers would home in on the easier, greenfield land for which there would be a higher return on properties.
Other councillors insisted any new development had to go hand in hand with more schools, shops and possibly a new Warwick Hospital to cope with the inevitable increased demand.
n The application to build five new homes at the rear of the Millwright Arms in Coten End was unexpectedly withdrawn by developers on Wednesday.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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