Warwick consultation launches '˜exciting step' for St Mary's Lands

Councillors have agreed to support the latest masterplan for St Mary's Lands to finally find a way forward for the space.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 9:29 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016, 12:31 pm

Warwick District Council approved the latest proposals for the future of the public space on Wednesday night where the plan was hailed as a “great step forward” for the town.

The latest masterplan - drawn up after the council, landowners and Warwick Racecourse agreed to work together - will now go to public consultation.

Praising a positive future at Wednesday’s meeting, Cllr Moira-Ann Granger said: “I have to say it’s brilliant this report is coming forward. It really is exciting and we just wait for the public consultation with excitement.

“I’m sure St Mary’s Lands will be a success bringing tangible benefits to residents. I have every hope that we can improve what is a beautiful part of Warwick already.”

Cllr Andrew Mobbs, leader of Warwick District Council, described the new plan as the answer after years of debate.

“This decision shows we are moving forward in a very positive manner and we are excited about that,” he said.

“The proposals represent a far more sensible approach and that shows in many proposals such as the hotel.

“I am now delighted that we are moving forward to create a stronger future on this highly valued public asset.”

A public consultation will be launched this spring for residents to have their say on the 10-year development plan.

The lands are home to Warwick Racecourse, Racing Club Warwick Football Club, the golf club and public land. And all parties have been involved in ongoing discussions and creating the 18-point plan.

It includes improvements to access, the lands entrance, playing fields and to ongoing flood alleviation work.

An expansion of the Caravan Club is proposed, with the club to use the coach park and stables when they are not in use. A multi-use games development is also suggested.

The return of a hotel plan is possibly the plans’ most contentious part annd hopes to bring more visitors to the site.

The proposals could see the build moved from the entrance where previous plans were contested, to the other side of the racing stands.

It would be supported by over 70 additional long-stay spaces, and an increase in short-stay parking.

A proposed new cycleway would link the site to Warwick Parkway, but its opening may be limited by the racecourse to suit race days.

The golf course would also be in line for improvement, with upgrades to the club house and parking area.