The voices of thousands of protesters fighting the Local Plan have been heard by the highest powers in the land.
A delegation from Warwick and Leamington, who are campaigning against plans to bring thousands of homes to the area, travelled to London yesterday (Thursday) to meet MP Chris White, ahead of an important debate on planning, housing supply and the countryside.
Mr White spoke in Westminister Hall about the potentially “ruinous” proposals to build 12,300 homes in the district over the next 15 years.
The MP for Warwick and Leamington has already collected 1,870 signatures on his own online petition calling on the district council to reconsider the Local Plan which he is convinced is not in the best interests of the community.
A second petition, from the recently formed Save Warwick group, holds a further 640 signatures.
As well as the petitions, thousands of people across the district have registered objections during the revised plan’s consultation process. Two district councillors said the proposals also contributed to them leaving the ruling Conservative group, and the unrest caused contributed to the resignation of council leader Michael Doody.
On Wednesday Mr White said: “I am due to speak in the debate expressing my opposition to the Local Plan and I’m looking forward to meeting with a delegation from the constituency so that they can hear the debate first hand.
“I believe that these proposals are wrong and would urge Warwick District to listen to local residents and think again.”
Altogether some 3,500 people across the district registered objections during the recent consultation process.
Retired town planner David Williams of the Save Warwick group said: “Our petition requests the council withdraws the current plan that would be particularly ruinous to the area south of Warwick.
“It’s no wonder it has generated such anger - it overestimates the conceivable need for new housing by a factor of two. The traffic proposals do nothing to alleviate the horrendous impacts of traffic on our town centres and the residential allocations bear no relation to actual need.
“The plan also pays little or no attention to looking after the heritage of Warwick - it would be disastrous, not least to the architectural and historic heritage that is the product on which our local economy depends.”
Richard Ashworth, chairman of the Leamington Society, said: “The Local Plan lacks diversity and affordability and is absolutely not sustainable.”