HOMES GET GO-AHEAD

TWO dozen town houses are set to be built in the town centre, despite strong opposition from residents and councillors.

Planning officers are recommending approval of the scheme by Kendrick Homes for 23 homes in Queens Road, on the site of the Guest for Plants nursery. They say this scheme would match an existing development in a neighbouring street.

The housing project was first submitted as a plan for 45 flats in three blocks of three-storey flats, and that met objections from county highways officers.

The new plan has been significantly changed and now asks for 23 terraced homes - still accessed from Queens Road - designed in a Regency style with imitation coursed stonework rustication to the ground floor and bricks above.

The site is outlined in the local plan for housing, and that suggests about 20 homes for the plot to the rear of Sainsbury s.

There were 26 letters of objection to the original scheme on the grounds of height, privacy, traffic and loss of trees. And there have 17 objections letters on the revised plans, centring on claims ofoverdevelopment, unneighbourly, out of character, parking problems and traffic.

Residents are unhappy with the height of the proposed buildings and how close they would be to existing homes.

Stephen Wallsgrove, planning officer, said: I am satisfied that that present scheme is not unreasonable in terms of the relationship of the buildings to the existing houses, despite the fact that the residents, and the town council, are concerned about the height of the proposed houses.

I am satisfied that the scheme meets normal parking standards - two spaces per house - and it is not overdevelopment since the back gardens are of a reasonable length - minimum 11.5 metres including the back access path in some cases - and the principal tree on the site is retained.

The highways issue presents difficulty, and some form of traffic calming will be needed before work can begin.

Officers suggest a condition should be imposed to ensure this is sorted out before construction starts.

Mr Wallsgrove said: I consider that the present scheme is now acceptable, in principle, and will be similar in character to the three-storey development carried out at John Nash Square, off Queens Road, some years ago.

Officers say the scheme should be granted, with the unusual condition that it would be refused if the highway work is not completed within six months.

Warwick District plans sub-committee meets on Tuesday to decide the application.

* The application site is the home to a long established nursery, run by Andrew Guest, and the owners are said to be looking to relocate, and will not be closing down.