Q “Why do FoSML seem to resist a lot of proposals that WDC make?”
A “FoSML is a constituted campaigning organisation with the aims of conserving, supporting, and protecting St. Mary’s Lands for the benefit of all residents and visitors. When WDC propose plans which appear to be contrary to these aims we bring our concerns to their attention in the hope that they will consider changing them.”
Q “Why do FoSML not support a new Hotel?”
A “FoSML are mandated by their members to oppose any further development on St. Mary’s Lands (Warwick Common).
A petition of 1200 signatories presented to WDC by FoSML in February 2015 asked WDC “to honour their earlier commitments to the residents of the town of Warwick and fully protect St Mary Lands Warwick, from any further development which would impact upon the open nature of the land”.
This was further supported by proposal at an AGM was carried unanimously that:-
“The Friends of St. Mary’s Lands are opposed to the building of a hotel on the Race Common on the grounds of road safety, the impact on the historic character and visual amenities of the Race Common.
Concerns were also expressed regarding the possibility of further expansion which could follow such a development and also the negative impact another hotel would have on the existing hotels and B & Bs in the area.”
FoSML also noted that the proposal for a hotel received a large negative (minus) response in the 2016 Public Consultation.”
Q “What financial benefit do the FoSML make from the work involved in running the organisation?”
A “None. FoSML is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation.”
Q “I use the Common; how can I assist more in the running of FoSML?”
A “FoSML welcomes anyone who is interested in the St Mary’s Lands, Lammas Field and The Saltisford Common in Warwick; and who broadly agrees with their aims and objectives. Our effectiveness increases with the number of members we have. Our members also alert us to problems which arise on our Common.”
Q “How do I join FoSML?”
A “Complete the membership form on our website and email it to our Secretary with the membership fee.”
Q “Where is St. Mary’s Lands and who owns it?”
A “St. Mary’s Lands, or Warwick Common as it has always been known, is public land with some areas leased to organisations such as the Racecourse. It has been held in deep affection and used by generation after generation of Warwick people. In the past, huge outcries have opposed any plans to “develop” it. It was Warwick Town Council that fought for control of St. Mary’s Lands in the 1970s when Warwick Mayor Jim Savory gathered over 3½ thousand names in two weeks for a petition.
Unfortunately a Public Arbitration Hearing handed control of the Common to Warwick District Council who gave the assurance that they would continue to use St. Mary’s Lands in the same way, “neither more nor less”. Ultimately the 1984 Act of Parliament on the land was expected to safeguard its future. The Act is still extant.”