‘Accident blackspot must not be used for housing’: villagers furious after woman injured on road near Leamington

The scene of the crash in Radford Semele on Monday.
The scene of the crash in Radford Semele on Monday.

What is known to villagers as an “accident blackspot” near Leamington was the site of a serious road accident on Monday - and the community is furious that a plan to build 130 new homes there is being considered.

A female motorcyclist was badly hurt after being in collision with a van at the junction between Southam Road and Offchurch Lane in Radford Semele, just outside the White Lion pub - where the rider used to work.

She was taken to Warwick Hospital after the crash, which occured at about 6pm, and is believed to have broken her leg in two places.

The site is next to a plot of land earmarked in Warwick District Council’s Local Plan as a ‘preferred option’ to build the 100 new homes allocated to Radford Semele - and developer Gladman Development already has its eye on the land, having distributed leaflets with its vision for a 130-home estate there.

But villagers, who refer to the junction as an “accident blackspot” due to the blind nature of the turning, are so much against the idea of building houses there that they have formed a campaign group, Save Radford, to voice their opposition.

Group member Olly Aries, who lives in Offchurch Lane and was at the scene of the accident shortly after it occurred, said: “On a stretch of road that is so dangerous, we are furious that the council is prepared to even contemplate putting houses there.

“I believe there have been three accidents there in the past year. When you get another 300 cars all trying to exit out of the very same junction in the morning and struggling with a blind corner, it’s going to be chaotic.

“We don’t like accidents happening in our village.”

Lee Cheeseman, manager of the White Lion, confirmed that the woman hurt in the collision was a former member of staff. He said: “The idea of building houses there needs to be thought about very seriously, as it will mean more traffic at this dangerous spot.”

Gladman Developments is inviting people to comment on its ideas for the land off Southam Road. It plans for 40 per cent of the 130 new homes to be classed as ‘affordable’ housing.

But Radford Semele parish council was until October unaware that the land was up for sale and has not yet submitted its comments to the district council on the concept of the land being a ‘preferred option’ for the village’s share of new housing.

The district councillor who represents Radford Semele is Michael Doody, who was district council leader while the Local Plan was being put together. He said: “I pass on my best wishes to the lady involved and am grateful that her injuries were not a lot worse.

“We have always known that this particular junction is dangerous. We need to know what is being considered to improve the road.

“It’s my job to make sure that the residents in this village are safe. I will not be on the planning committee when this application is discussed, but I will be speaking to represent the views of villagers.”

To comment on Gladman’s plans, visit www.your-views.co.uk/radfordsemele

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision, which involved a white Ford transit van and a white Honda motorbike, on January 6. Call Pc Pat Kearney on 101.