Loss of Lillington park land for affordable housing could affect wildlife says resident

The land at the back of  the Lillington Free Church site in Leamington, where an affordable housing development project has already been approved, could make way for additional affordable homes.
The land at the back of the Lillington Free Church site in Leamington, where an affordable housing development project has already been approved, could make way for additional affordable homes.

Plans to build affordable housing on part of a park in Lillington could lead to the loss of ‘important’ wildlife habitat a concerned resident has said.

Warwick District Council has already approved Orbit Housing’s proposal to demolish Lillington Free church next to The Holt recreation ground in Cubbington Road and replace the building with a new church and community hall, 25 affordable homes and car parking.

But the council wants to offload 1,356 square meters of land it owns at the back of this site to make way for the purpose of allowing a developer to build a few more affordable homes in addition to those included in the church project.

This could mean the loss of part of park land which, Hadrian Close resident Lucy Crowley says is a haven for wild animals including hawks and hedgehogs.

She said: “It feels as if these homes are being shoe horned into this corner of Leamington.

“The land serves as a ‘wildlife meadow’ because of its bio diversity.

“It’s important to the public and for it to just be grabbed seems wrong to me.”

The affordable houses on the church site would include three one-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom houses and seven three-bedroom houses.

These properties would be available as shared ownership.

At the request of church members, the new one-storey church building would be moved closer to the recreation ground to ‘better engage with the community’.

Parking on the site would provide enough space for 59 cars, including 19 spaces specifically for church members.

To view the church site plans go to the district council’s online planning portal and enter W/17/0823 in the search bar.