Approval for 735 new homes between Leamington and Warwick

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Plans to build a new 735-home housing development on land between Myton Road and Europa Way between Leamington and Warwick were given the green light.

At a meeting at Leamington town hall last night (Tuesday) Warwick District Council’s planning committee voted by a large majority in favour of the Europa Way Consortium’s application which also include a possible new primary school and retail space.

The plans form a major part of Warwick District Council’s Revised Local Plan which aims to fulfil the Government’s push for 12,300 new homes in Warwick District by 2029.

Objectors had raised concerns about the quota of affordable homes planned for the site - which is 33 per cent as opposed to the normally required 40 per cent - but the council’s head of development service Tracy Darke said this was offset by the use of land for education including the proposed expansion and improvement of Myton school.

Other issues raised by those opposed to the scheme included a lack of infrastructure particularly in regard to traffic flow in an already congested area, the negative impact on air quality in both Leamington and Warwick, and coalescence between the two towns through ‘urban sprawl’.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr John Holland of Warwick Town Council said that many people believe that the lack of affordable housing is a big problem in Warwick and this decision will make the problem much worse.

He added, “We also have a serious traffic problem and there is no possibility of any measures to cope with the extra traffic. Work has already been completed to divert traffic into Leamington and we definitely do not support this.

“The Planning Committee have been told in writing that it may not be possible to provide suitable places in school for young children and it may have been reckless to approve this application. The Planning Committee appeared to understand these problems as most spoke strongly against the scheme and it is hard to understand why they voted to approve the scheme”.

John Edwards, chairman of both the Europa way Consortium of the King Henry VIII endowed trust, said the site was the most logical and sustainable location for housing south of Leamington and Warwick.

He added: “The scheme will result in high quality development providing extensive landscape and public open spaces, a playground, allotments and community facilities.

“It will also provide wider strategic local benefits - a boost to the five-year housing land supply delivering up to 243 affordable houses and, importantly, a secondary access to Myton School away from Myton Road.

“Eighty five per cent of this site is owned by two Warwick charities the King Henry VIII Trust and Thomas Oken - these were established 500 years ago and will likely continue for a further 500 years so both have a long-term interest in what is happening in Warwick. They will reinvest their share and use the income for charitable purposes in Warwick.”

Additional conditions requested by the committee include a dedicated cycle way for residents, rainwater harvesting and a pedestrian link to the shops at the Leamington Shopping Park nearby.