CONCERNS have been raised about the size of a planned country park in Leamington.
The Tach Brook Country Park is to be created as part of the Oakley Grove development between Whitnash and Bishops Tachbrook.
But residents say changes to plans – which have seen an extra 150 homes added and the school moved closer to Bishops Tachbrook – will see the park reduced in size.
It is set to be around the size of 58 football pitches, with eight of these falling into the Oakley Grove development.
Residents say this is a reduction of around three pitches.
But Warwick District Council and developers AC Lloyd argue the park is actually going to be bigger as it will include six school playing fields which will be opened up for community use during evenings and weekends.
Nicola Hamilton – who began a petition against the extra homes and loss of country park land, which has so far gained some 700 signatures – said: “In my mind, school playing fields that are only open after school hours are definitely not country park land. The council and developers are trying to pull a fast one.
“They claim they aren’t reducing the size of the country park because the playing fields are green land and form part of the park, but they won’t be freely accessible as they will be fenced off as part of the school grounds.”
A council spokeswoman says the authority is looking at including more land in the plans, and that overall the park is larger even excluding the playing fields.
She said: “The pitches will form part of the park as they will have community access outside of school use. Even if they aren’t included this new application will make the park larger and the council is in discussion with other landowners to extend it even further.
“Tach Brook Country Park will be an important new open space for the whole district, but in particular the village of Bishop’s Tachbrook.”