Since June 2013 our council has passed plans for a total of 1,420 new houses to be built at four sites along a one mile stretch of Harbury Lane, Warwick.
There is now a further application before the planners for another 520 houses on a Harbury Lane site. This one-mile stretch will have nine roads feeding in to a busy 50mph road carrying through traffic from the Fosse to Leamington and Warwick. Furthermore, there are plans in the pipeline for two more developments with a total of 1,700 homes, within a mile of Harbury Lane.
The residents of Heathcote, Whitnash and Bishops Tachbrook, along with the Warwick and Leamington Societies, have voiced their objections to all these planning applications for all the same reasons.
1. Air quality, already at a dangerous level.
2. No money for transport infrastructure.
3. No money for schools which will be required.
4. No infrastructure for sports facilities and health.
5. The land being used is high quality agricultural land and a planning inspector in 2007 stated that it should not be used for housing development then or in the long term.
6. Total loss of green fields and the joining together of villages to give urban sprawl.
There is no mitigation for the air quality and in a recent Courier article, the county council has confirmed there are no funds for transport infrastructure. Stagecoach has already stated they cannot provide a bus service for these new developments.
How will the existing roads cope with the extra 2,000 plus cars and a minimum of 700 children that these developments will be home to? As a reminder, when the 1,400 houses were built at Warwick Gates, space and money were allocated for a school but the money was used elsewhere, leaving the children of Warwick Gates to travel to schools in Whitnash and Bishop Tachbrook. Do these schools have surplus capacity? I think not.
When the children from the new developments have to travel further afield to school, this will create even more congestion on Harbury Lane and its surrounding roads. Already, between 7.45am and 8.45am weekday mornings, there is queuing traffic along Harbury Lane and this is before anyone has moved in to any of the new-builds.
It has already been shown that the figures for housing requirements being used by the council are incorrect by at least 2,500 properties so why will the council not admit their mistake and refuse any more planning applications? Our Council leader has told us that he and his fellow councillors have listened to people’s opinion. They certainly haven’t listened to the people in the south of the district – could the refusal of this application be a first?
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