DRAFT plans which could see £4million of work carried out at St Mary’s Lands have been revealed.
A document currently being consulted on by members of Mary’s Lands Working Party includes reducing the golf course by 40 per cent at a cost of £1.8million.
The paper – which develops on how the St Mary’s Lands masterplan could be taken forward – also includes replacing the golf centre building as a hub with toilets, refreshments and outdoor seating and ensuring ‘the balance between public access and wildlife diversity is well-managed’.
The document reads: “Our vision is a future for St Mary’s Lands where the natural and cultural heritage is protected and enhanced – where a vibrant range of community uses, economic regeneration and environmental enhancement thrive together in this inspiring natural setting.”
The funding would mainly come from National Heritage Lottery Fund grants, county council grants and from housing developers in the form of community infrastructure levy contributions,
But the Friends of St Mary’s Lands have hit out at the plans.
A management committee spokeswoman told the Observer: “We are vehemently opposed to the latest proposals from Warwick District Council. They plan to fence off a huge area of St Mary’s Lands to protect 11 pairs of nesting birds when it is more important than ever for our wellbeing to be able to access and enjoy our local open spaces.
“We are also aghast at their plans to spend over £4m on ‘improvements’ to the golf area, including nearly £2m on remodelling the golf course to achieve a 40 per cent reduction.
“The £1,570,000 community infrastructure levy money could be put to far greater community use. To profligate spending on this obscene scale is indefensible and we are calling on our Warwick councillors to help defend this beautiful open space – our old Warwick Common.”
If all plans are agreed and funding secured a final decision would be made in September 2024, with work expected to begin the following year.
But Warwick District Council was keen to point out the document is a working paper and potential approach to the masterplan rather than an agreed proposal.
As the document has not been agreed by the council or working party the district council says it is unable to comment.