Warwick residents' plea to save play area from housing development

Residents in Warwick are coming together to object to plans that would see homes built on a play area that has been in their estate for more than 40 years.

Friday, 3rd November 2017, 9:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:13 am
Local residents are campaigning against a development proposal for three houses on an area that was designated as a play area. NNL-171024-235343009

The plans, which have been drawn up by developer Church Stone Development, would see three houses built on ‘unused land’ on Eastley Crescent.

The land, which the developer intends to use for the houses, is currently a play area used by members of the community that reside on Eastley Crescent, Lyster Close, Warmington Grove and Birmingham Road.

The developer submitted plans to Warwick District Council in September and since then the plans have received more than 50 letters of objection from residents and from Warwick Town Council.

In many of the objections registered by residents they refer back to the deeds and documents to their homes, where the site is identified as a play area.

Linda Redfern, who has lived on Eastley Crescent for 41 years, said: “The residents absolutely object to the proposed development. The play area plays a vital role on this estate and it is and always has been constantly used for outdoor play for the past 41 years.

“Historical documents in our deeds show that in October 1975 the planning agreement made between Bryant Homes and Warwick District Council specified that there should be the “laying out of a play space” with the council maintaining the play space in perpetuity.

“It also says that “the agreement and covenant by the council hereinafter shall be treated as a local land charge”.

“The ‘Greenhow’ plans, which was what the area was called, show that Warwick District Council had the foresight in 1975 that providers needed to play an important role by offering an open space for outdoor recreation.

“That has not changed and we are surprised that the only open space in this area could be taken away.

“We are such a tight-knit community and many residents have been here for 35 years and some have been here from the beginning.

“The developers describe the site as vacant and unused, which broke our hearts – the play area is such a fundamental part of our estate.

“We never ever dreamt that we would be faced with someone taking something so important away of us.”

According to the documents on the Warwick District Council’s planning portal, Warwick Town Council objected to the plans for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it objected because “there is a strong concern of loss of perpetuity with the proposed loss of public open space”. Another reason was because the application would lead to over-development in the area.

Other reasons from the council included a loss of trees, increased traffic, the site not being in the Local Plan and that “the original planning permission granted 40 years ago stated that this land should remain as open space.”

It is currently unknown when the plans for Eastley Crescent will go before Warwick District Council’s planning committee.

To view the plans go to Warwick District Council’s planning portal and search W/17/1713.