Radford Semele villages have been ‘let down by council’ over housing expansion

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Villagers have been left “let down” after 175 homes were agreed in Radford Semele despite growing pressures on their school and roads.

The developments which were agreed on Monday could mean 150 new homes south of Offchurch Lane and 25 more west of Southam Road in what will increase the village by 50 percent and is claimed put unprecedented pressure on infrastructure.

There is just no thought for sustainability, the council is blindly allowing houses to suit government figures with no thought for how the people living in them will cope

Oliver Aries

The plans were agreed by Warwick District Council planners on Monday despite protests by scores of residents urging them to rethink for the good of village life.

And resident and campaigner, Oliver Aries, said it is simply not acceptable for the builds to be approved without improvements to the roads or growth for the already full primary school.

The father of two said: “The issue here is that the council knows there is insufficient primary school education and that our roads are bursting at the seams, yet they have pushed this through.

“The idea is that children from the new development will be bused to primary schools nearby as the village school is full.

“But that means children aged four or five travelling on buses to Sydenham or Whitnash at the very best, with no thought for the numbers in those schools.

“There is just no thought for sustainability, the council is blindly allowing houses to suit government figures with no thought for how the people living in them will cope.

“The over riding feeling now is one of dismay. We have been let down by our council.”

The village is currently made up of around 800 houses, with the newly approved 175 builds set to increase this size by almost a quarter - and a further 65 already granted permission in the village.

Radford Semele Parish Council objected to the plans, stating: “The junction on the Southam Road for this development is totally inadequate and means that 215 houses will be serviced by this very dangerous junction”.

Councillors also heard that as the site lies with an area of “significant archaeological potential” and could have been home to a thriving medieval settlement in the 11th century, the county archaeologist will complete a survey before any work starts.

Councillors at Monday’s meeting were told that with no objection from highways or education departments and the land suitable for building, the were no planning grounds to reject the applications.

At least 40 per cent of the new builds by developers, Sharba Homes must be affordable, and the outline applications must come back before the planning committee before building can start.

Warwick District Council planners said of the application: “The scheme will contribute towards helping the council meet its five year requirement.

The site is in a sustainable location where residents can access a range of services.

“Any issues of concern can be addressed through reserved matters applications.

“In the particular circumstances of this application, it is not considered that the impacts on the landscape or the rural area significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the development.”