Most Warwick residents were delighted when the district council ‘s chief executive asked developers to “hold fire” on new planning applications.
But despite this, a fresh application arrived last week for 250 new homes on farmland just off Banbury Road, south of Gallows Hill.
And Anthony King, chairman of the recently formed Save Warwick group, is not the only one who is furious.
He said: “Development here would be a disaster to an historic vista that can be seen from the castle and St Mary’s, and is visually the most important entrance to Warwick.”
Another founding member of the group, David Williams, remembers the land as a pick-your-own strawberry field opened every year by the farmer.
Mr King and Mr Williams are angry that developers appear to have simply ignored the chief executive’s letter.
On Monday night representives of their Save Warwick group, along with the Warwick Society, Whitnash town council and Bishops Tachbrook parish council met with district officers at a planning forum in Leamington town hall.
The Revised Development Strategy for the district calls for 12,300 homes across the district over the next 15 years. And of these some 4,500 would be south of Wawick.
But parish councillor Ray Bullen challenged the method used by district planning manager Dave Barber in calculating the number of houses needed in just the next five years.
Mr Bullen, who is himself a retired Coventry City Council planner, argues that less than half the number of houses would meet the needs of the growing population. And he says all the land needed is already available with no need to develop more farmland like the former strawberry field which offers such a visually appealing view of the town.
As a result of the forum meeting, both Mr Bullen and Mr Barber have agreed to look again at how the housing figure for the next five years was calculated.
More research is still being done on the controversial 12,300 requirement of the Revised Development Strategy which during consultation led to some 2,500 objections and the resignations of two district councillors from the ruling Conservative group.
Last week council and Conservative leader Michael Doody also resigned after deciding he no longer had the support of so many in his party.
Mr Williams said: “The district council officers maintain that they have not yet released enough land to allow developers to build the quota of houses needed in the district over the next five years. We believe that not only are there enough sites for the next five years but actually enough sites for the next 15 if they continue to say we need 12,300 new homes.”
* An application to build at Woodside Farm off Harbury Lane has been rejected.