Warwick Castle park in £3 million sale

Warwick residents and officials are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the sale of a large plot of historic land.

The Warwick Castle Park site to the south of the town centre has long been a source of speculation, with the nearly 700-acre Grade 1 listed area left in limbo for nearly 30 years.

It was recently put up for sale for £3 million by owner Gladedale Estates and although the scope for development is limited due to its listed status, there is concern that the historical features of the land could be left to deteriorate further.

James Mackay, chairman of the Warwick Society, said: “It’s an extraordinary landscape which has suffered 30 years of uncertainty and neglect.

“The Warwick Society hopes very much that this sale will be an opportunity to get it into good hands so it is restored and proper access is created.

“We are concerned as to what might happen if someone saw it as a development opportunity, which it most definitely isn’t.

“It’s a very special and beautiful area.”

John Turner, chairman of the Warwick Castle Park Trust, said: “We are on the sidelines hoping it goes to the right people.

“It’s in the lap of the gods.

“The trust’s aim has always been to open the park to the public and restore it but we don’t know what will happen.

“We would like to see someone with enough money to fully restore it.

“It’s a beautiful piece of land but the woodlands and fences are slowly deteriorating and there’s a beautiful bridge, the Layfield Bridge, which needs restoring.

“We need a white knight to come and restore it to its former glory.”

Estate agents John Shepherd and Vaughan confirmed that there had been significant interest in the plot and that there was no chance of major development on the site, but declined to comment further.