1986 started with a nasty shock for Sambourne residents who learned of a planning application for an estate of industrial and residential buildings on a vast scale to the north-west of the village. The decision of the Stratford District Council Planning Committee on this application is not known at the time of writing.
It is inevitable that eventually during the next twenty years on so pressure will increase on the council to erode the green belt land in our local parishes. Whether this is done a little at a time on more quickly (as with much of Redditch New Town) local residents and lovers of the Warwickshire countryside must remain wary of land development and be prepared to fight to preserve the identity and character of the Lower Arrow Valley and its villages and farmland.
Local farmers have been visited by officials and told that there may be changes in land usage in our area. Fields are to be evaluated to enable a realistic compensation to be paid to farmers whose land is to be purchased. We cannot stop progress but we must bring influence to bear to ensure that any developments are kept to a minimum and that sites for building are chosen so that they scan the overall landscape as little as possible,e.g. screened by existing deciduous woods on hedges on using lower land not on a horizon.
To preserve the character of Studley and Alcester, by-passes are required but the routes must be carefully chosen and the end product carefully screened. Compromises will have to be made but everyone with a love of history and nature must be prepared to express their opinions.
We sometimes worry about preserving one relic in a museum or one listed building worthy aims but it is equally important to preserve the identity of our local villages for future generations and limit the erosion of our countryside.
The landscape in our area has been changed much by man in the past disafforested, cultivated, hedges planted, railways built (and allowed to fall into disuse), villages built and ( in some cases such as Spernall deserted and ruined) but never has the pressure for rapid devastation of the landscape been so great as now. We must beware!
Spring 1986 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1986