A WARNING that Stratford-upon-Avon could be turned into a town “with all the beauty of Milton Keynes” has been issued after the latest options for the district’s future development were unveiled.
The comments were made following the disclosure that the building of 2,500 to 3,000 homes between Banbury Road and Tiddington is being considered among other explosive proposals now on the table.
One of those other equally contentious options is a proposal to build about 3,000 homes at Long Marston Airfield.
Both these ideas—the Banbury Road to Tiddington development and the one at Long Marston—are facing staunch opposition from within the ruling Conservative group’s own leadership on Stratford District Council.
The options have emerged following the substantial scaling down of plans to build a 4,800-home new town in the area of Gaydon and Lighthorne Heath (GLH) because they interfere with the expansion aspirations of car giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
The idea now is to examine a number of other options, particularly since the housing target might be 11,800 from 2011 to 2031 instead of 9,500 between 2008 and 2028.
Cllr Lynda Organ (Cons, Alveston), who is the council’s portfolio holder for technical services, told the Herald this week that she would continue to oppose any development proposals for south-east Stratford.
And Cllr Mike Brain (Cons, Quinton), the council’s portfolio holder for customer access, said the Long Marston proposals came as “a shock” and warned of the “cumulative effect” this development would have not only on the B4632 road but on the town of Stratford.
The most graphic comment on the proposed Banbury Road to Tiddington development came from Tony Goddard of Cause (Community Against Urban Sprawl and Exploitation). Cause is already fighting plans to build 250 homes at the end of Loxley Road in Stratford.
Mr Goddard told the Herald: “We have had huge support for our campaign from residents across a wide area. Over 94 per cent have expressed their anger at the issues related to traffic, local infrastructure and visual impact. To even consider putting 3,000 houses in the area borders on negligence.
“An additional 3,000 houses in the Banbury, Loxley and Tiddington Road areas would increase the population by around 25 per cent. It would create a huge urban sprawl with all the beauty of Milton Keynes and create an impossible strain on the already congested roads and infrastructure.
“World Class Stratford is an internationally important historic town, attracting over three million annual tourists, who come for our stunning cultural and heritage assets. We must all work together to protect the town from overdevelopment, ensuring it operates sustainably for future generations.”
And David Bliss, chair-man of Bard, the group that successfully campaigned against the 6,000-home Middle Quinton eco-town, said of the Long Marston proposals: “Bard will continue to scrutinise large-scale development plans.
“If the developments are seen as being unsustainable and irresponsible we will work with local residents to fight them with all endeavour.”
Meanwhile Forse—the group set up to fight the GLH scheme—said the revised proposals for the new town meant it would be “a scaled-down, no-jobs, car-dependent housing ghetto stuck alongside a motorway”.
Forse argued that all the other options—South-East Stratford, Long Marston, Southam (2,350 homes) and Stoneythorpe (up to 1,000 homes) – were preferable to the GLH proposals.
Yesterday Cllr Chris Saint (Cons, Tredington), the leader of Stratford District Council, told the Herald that the council did, in fact, have an adopted policy framework while it was formulating a new local plan.
“Though approved in 2006, it still gives weight to local strategies,” said Cllr Saint. “I have been told by ministers that we should use this in conjunction with detailed policy in the NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework] to defend ourselves from unsustainable development.
“I am having detailed discussions with officers about ways to use this to prevent a glut of unsustainable hous-ing in the district.”
The new options will be considered by the council’s ruling cabinet at its meeting on Monday.
People wishing to see full details of the options being presented to Monday’s meeting of the cabinet can find them by visiting Stratford District Council’s website at www.stratford.gov.uk
The overall figure of £170,000 in expenses also needs unpacking. Most people think of business expenses as person...
Although the government u-turned on their decision to ignore VC winners born abroad in September, there were concerns th...
They say there is an “appalling lack of information” handed out to users by energy suppliers, and three quar...