RESIDENTS living in the Loxley Road area of Stratford-upon-Avon had a shock this week when they received an out-of-the-blue notification of plans to build 250 homes on their doorstep.
Leaflets came through their letter boxes on Sunday announcing that Gallagher Estates and the Pegasus Group were planning to build the homes on land at Arden Heath Farm on either side of Loxley Road.
The sudden disclosure of plans for that particular locality triggered fears that a 2,500-home development between Banbury Road and Alveston—which had previously been flagged up as a possibility—might be achieved by stealth.
The leaflets, which came with tear-off slips on which residents were invited to write down their comments on the proposals, declared: “There is a need for new housing in Stratford-upon-Avon.
“We believe that land at Arden Heath Farm (comprising two parcels of land, separated by Loxley Road and adjoined by existing housing to the west and Knights Lane to the east), can accommodate around 250 new homes and contribute to meeting the housing needs of the area.”
The companies say that about 75 of the homes would be on land north of Loxley Road and 175 on land to the south of it. They say there would be a mix of house types and sizes, including affordable homes.
Two areas of public open space would be provided, with a children’s play area, on either side of Loxley Road. There would also be new planting around the edges of the site to provide screening.
The opposition Liberal Democrats on Stratford District Council said there was growing concern about planning proposals coming in for south of the river in Stratford. They pointed to 50 homes being proposed by Cala Homes on land at the Home Guard Club in Tiddington, 85 at Milestone Meadow off Banbury Road, along with other schemes in the Banbury Road vicinity.
Cllr Ian Fradgley (Lib Dem, Stratford), in whose Alveston ward the Arden Heath Farm scheme is situated, said this week: “We know that the Conservatives considered the idea of a 2,500-house ‘urban extension’ between Tiddington and Alveston. With the proposal for 250 houses off Loxley Road and all the other applications south of the river it looks as though we’re going to get a substantial number of that 2,500 by default. It looks like a race between the developers’ planning applications and the council’s core strategy and unfortunately the developers seem to be winning.”
Cllr Lynda Organ (Cons, Stratford), the district council’s technical services portfolio holder who also represents Alveston, told the Herald yesterday (Wednesday): “I am totally opposed to this proposal by predatory developers and any others who seek to expand the town into surrounding farmland. I will continue to work with residents to do everything possible to stop this, and the approval of the new draft core strategy by the district council—along with the emerging neighbourhood plan—will help to prevent this erosion of our green fields.”
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