A few years left to enjoy this gem

Warwick District Council’s approval of the Draft Local Plan means, unless the government changes its mind, the end of the small and charming Kenilworth which has existed for so many years. Time since the 1960s has witnessed the growth of the town and the increase of the population to what, many people feel, is the maximum extension acceptable if it is to maintain is attraction.

Now the government’s decree, for that is what it is, has forced the local town and district councils to accede to the autocratic demand for over 12,000 houses in the district and 1,230 of them in Kenilworth.

This enforced growth marks a diminishing green belt and a threat to the future of the town as its borders press threateningly towards the edges of Coventry. Could that be the next government aim to see a greater Coventry as part of a powerful Midland region?

Whatever the ultimate objective may be, the fact is that incompetent governments of both colours and over enthusiastic local authorities like that of Kenilworth which destroyed valuable old buildings in Bridge Street and Warwick Road half a century ago, have precipitated this month’s actions.

Those many of us who have lived in and loved Kenilworth remember the attractive Abbey Fields, the original real ford before the culverts and the bridge, the resurrection of the Little Virginia site, a remarkably historic castle, and so many, many other unrepeatable features. We can only regret the loss of open spaces to housing development and the overbuilding envisaged by the Draft Plan while also remaining astounded at the impact HS2 will have on our town and so much of beautiful countryside.

I believe there were many doubts in the hearts and minds of the councillors who were forced to reach their decision last week. They, like the majority of the rest of us, have a number of years left to enjoy this little Midland gem, Kenilworth, before “progress” propels us to become lost to a 21st Century imposed expansionist oblivion.

Arnold Bolton, Barrowfield Lane, Kenilworth