Campaigners fighting Whitnash homes plan

By Kevin Unitt Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 09:00

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Concerned Whitnash Landor Road residents on the land targeted by developers - left to right - Ray and Anne Steele, Anne Horsley, Ross and Trevor Wood. (s)

CAMPAIGNERS in Whitnash are fighting plans for hundreds of new homes in a bid to keep the town's independence.

Developer Thomas Bates and Son – which owns Woodside Farm south of Whitnash – want to build 320 new homes on the farmland effectively eating up the open space separating the town from Warwick Gates and Bishop's Tachbrook.

Anne Horsley, a resident of Whitnash for nearly 50 years, said many residents feared the planned development, which backs on to Harbury Lane and Landor Road, would lead to increased traffic and noise, as well as putting too much strain of local schools and other services.

She added: “The fields keep Whitnash as Whitnash and Warwick Gates as Warwick Gates. To lose it would completely remove this split. We're on the highest point in Whitnash, so to build here would mean a very different look from what we have now.

"320 houses is an awful lot, and we're worried about the damage it could do to the area and our way of life.

"We need anyone opposed to this to come forward and make their voices heard."

Thomas Bates and Son insist the development would help meet the growing housing need in the area.

Managing director Roger Goodland said: “The site is ideally located and provides us with an excellent opportunity to deliver the new homes that Warwick district needs. Before this we are seeking the views of the community on our concept plan.

“This proposal has a real focus on the concept of a sustainable garden suburb. Our proposals take into account the importance of maintaining green open spaces and include provision for footpaths, a new cycleway, retained hedgerows, and natural green space.”

The developers are holding a public consultation ahead of submitting an application. Meetings will be held from 3pm to 8pm tomorrow (Friday) at Bishop's Tachbrook Sports and Social Club, and from 10am to 2pm on Saturday at Warwick Gates Community Centre, for residents to find out more information and make their views known.

* Councillors in Whitnash are outraged over proposals made by the Boundary Commission which could see half of its residents lost to a different electoral ward.

Following a review of the electoral boundaries for Warwick district, the commission is proposing a large part of Whitnash moves to the Heathcote ward.

Councillors in the town say it would have disastrous consequences, with the remaining Whitnash residents having to swallow an increase in council tax due to the loss of revenue, while the future of community events such as the Christmas Lights would be thrown into doubt.

Tony Heath, district councillor for Whitnash said: “This would treble the size of Bishop’s Tachbrook and halve the size of Whitnash.”

Bernard Kirton, another of the three district councillors representing Whitnash, added: “These proposals will destroy Whitnash community as we know it.”

Visit www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk to view the proposals and have your say, by the January 7 deadline.

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