Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish Council has said it neither supported nor objected to the successful planning application to build two new schools and 150 new homes on land near the village.
On Wednesday evening (November 5), permission was granted by Warwick District Council’s planning committee for developer AC Lloyd to build a secondary school for 1,200 students with an adjoining two-form entry primary school at Oakley Grove on the outskirts of Leamington (see front page).
The plans also include 150 new homes and a country park.
Speaking at the planning meeting Matthew Greene, the chairman of Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish Council, said: “The parish council neither supports nor objects to this planning application.
“This has been a divisive issue within our community.
“No-one can dispute the fact that Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish has been disproportionately targeted by large scale housing development - residents have watched as green spaces and habitats have been gobbled up by bricks and mortar – there is a strong feeling of neglect through bad design and chronic underinvestment in our community and its infrastructure.
“This latest proposal threatens a significant proportion of our remaining green space; it includes 150 new homes, to be built in open countryside and for which there is no unmet housing need.
“The proposals risk imposing large-scale buildings in a prominent position on our rural landscape,irreversibly changing the vista. Importantly, to the layman, the proposals appear to contravene the relatively newly adopted Local Plan.
“A number of historic and listed assets sit close to the proposed site for the secondary school and in coming to their decision we would ask members to consider the harm that these proposals could inflict on those properties and thus impose stringent conditions on the location and design of the buildings – we also specifically request to remain consulted throughout the design and construction phases.”
The Parish Council said it expects, and will hold, AC Lloyd and the district council to honour their commitments in respect to the application.
These include the immediate granting of the freehold of the country park to the parish council, shared community access for the sports facilities, strict controls over the design and placement of the buildings, works traffic for both developments to be routed from the Fosse Way side of Harbury Lane and the delivery of a community investment package “to recognise the significant under-investment in the parish over the last decade”.
More than 100 villagers objected to the proposals but the council has acknowledged that the reason why many others did not was because of the need for the school due to “rampant development”.
Mr Greene said: “It’s primarily for that reason that the parish council does not object to the application.
“However, there should be no doubt that there are strong concerns around the scale of this development, strong levels of ill feeling from sections of our community from apparent breaches of a relatively new Local Plan - for all these reasons the parish council would never support this application and we insist the promised commitments are honoured."