Kenilworth Wardens' land could soon be bought by council for major housing development

Kenilworth Wardens' planned move to Castle Farm could happen sooner rather than later as Warwick District Council could start negotiations to purchase its land. Once bought, around 760 homes could be built on and near the old site.
Kenilworth Wardens' planned move to Castle Farm could happen sooner rather than later as Warwick District Council could start negotiations to purchase its land. Once bought, around 760 homes could be built on and near the old site.

Land leased by Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club could soon be bought by Warwick District Council to allow around 760 homes to be built on and near the site.

The council is hoping to buy the land leased by the club and owned by Stoneleigh Estates, as it currently is part of a bigger site off Thickthorn Island which has been identified in the council's Local Plan for 760 homes.

Buying Wardens' land could also allow the club to move to land at Castle Farm and expand its facilities - a proposal which has caused controversy.

At an informal meeting held last summer, more than 100 residents living near Castle Farm voiced their concerns about the possible move.

Richard Robinson, who helped organise the meeting, said at the time: “The majority of people understood the need to extend the sports facilities.

“However, there are still major concerns about extent of development and the impact this will have, particularly retaining access to current public land and sufficient parking on site to minimise the impact on neighbouring roads.

“The location and number of new access roads is the key concern.”

If the land purchase is agreed, the council could give Wardens up to £400,000 from its reserves to submit a planning application to move to Castle Farm, and would also provide all the up-front funding to develop Castle Farm - which could be up to £7 million. Wardens cannot afford the move by themselves.

In return, Wardens would rent the land at Castle Farm from the council, and the council would then sell off the purchased land at Thickthorn to a developer for the 760 homes.

Although the fine details of Castle Farm's potential expansion have not been agreed yet, Kenilworth Wardens have already outlined what they want from the move.

An extra 17.7 acres of land will ideally be purchased or leased from the adjoining farm.

The entire site would then feature two cricket squares and a smaller third square, two to three football pitches, including a 3G pitch, and six to eight junior pitches. A two-storey clubhouse could also be built.

The council's executive will decide on whether to start negotiations with Kenilworth Wardens and Stoneleigh Estates at a meeting on Thursday May 31.