Residents of Chase Meadow in Warwick say they are “shocked” and “angered” by the news that a site close to the estate has been earmarked for gypsy and traveller pitches.
The land off Stratford Road, bounded by the river Avon and M40 and owned partly by Severn Trent Water, a private landowner, and Warwick District Council, will go out to public consultation as one of the council’s three preferred sites and would provide 15 of the 25 pitches the authority is required to provide within five years.
The site was put forward after the consultation took place on the council’s initial preferred options having previously been unsuitable due to a sanitary cordon in place, - which has now been reduced due to modern working practices and equipment at the sewage works nearby.
The Chase Meadow Resident’s Association has said: “We were shocked to hear that of the three preferred sites the council has selected land close to Chase Meadow even though this site was never on any list of sites for consultation. The decision has appeared completely out of the blue.
“Everyone we have informed this week was shocked to hear the news and will strongly object.
“What has angered many is that the site at Stratford Road has yet to reach the consultation stage but has already achieved allocated status in the council’s Local Plan.
“Announcing this during the Summer holidays gives us the impression their minds are already made. We will be making every effort to inform local residents, services and business in order to take further action.”
Cllr Les Caborn (Con, Lapworth), the council’s deputy leader, has encouraged residents to share their views, comments and ideas in the six-week consultation for which a start date will be set once a ‘masterplan’ covering employment, flooding, noise and flooding has progressed for the Stratford Road site.
He said: “I’d like to reassure people that by the time we start the consultation we will have put in the public realm as much information as we have at the time.”
A small area off Europa Way and Leamington FC’s New Windmill Ground are the two other preferred sites.
Councillors have agreed, at Cllr Caborn’s recommendation, that there would be no development at the ground until a replacement was in place which will suit the football club’s future needs and that compulsory purchase powers will never be used for the site.
The club’s former chairman David Hucker, who is also a shareholder, has expressed his objections to a move from the site in a letter (see pages 26 and 27) while the club’s of directors have released a statement on its website.