The decision to grant planning permission for a housing estate on land between Myton Road and Europa Way is most unsatisfactory as it ignores the well argued case against such developments made by local residents during the consultation period and recorded on the Warwick District Council website page relating to this proposal.
Road traffic in the two historic towns of Leamington and Warwick is already heavily congested well beyond peak times, particularly along both Myton Road and Banbury Road which would have to carry much of the traffic generated by this development. The scope to improve the road system is seriously limited and already air quality in Warwick town centre is frequently dangerously low. Suggestions to dual Europa Way and Banbury road would provide additional roadspace for queuing traffic but as there is no scope for road improvements north of the river congestion would just get worse.
Leamington and Warwick are currently situated in attractive countryside protected to the north by the Green Belt and to the south by an Area of Restraint created as a planning condition for building Warwick Technology Park.
For an alternative to unwanted development on greenfield sites there is considerable scope for using brownfield sites which have several advantages. Such development upgrades rundown areas, utilises existing services including gas, electricity, schools, doctors’ surgeries, shops, bus routes and community centres which already exist. Small developments are well suited to include ‘affordable housing’ and being within towns reduce the reliance on cars for travel. Their scale is such that they are attractive to local builders whereas big developments are carried out by national firms providing less opportunity for local employment.
This decision suggests that the planning committee and officers accept planning requirements from national government rather than responding to the concerns of their own constituents, indeed the implication is that Warwick District Council planning policy is decided by big developers rather than its own planning committee.
Surely it is such a lack of concern by Westminster politicians for their Scottish constituents that nearly led to the breakup of the United Kingdom in the Scottish Referendum.
P R Davison, Myton Crescent, Warwick