15th Dec, 2018

Square deal could be on the table for Studley to get longed-for centre

A PLEA for support to create a village square in Studley has received a positive response from the Parish Council.

The call came from District Councillor Justin Kerridge who told a parish meeting on Tuesday that both Warwickshire County Council and Stratford District Council were in favour of the suggestion but that the lead would have to come from the village itself.

The plan would involve the demolition of both the former medical centre, owned by Stratford district, and the old Youth Centre, owned by the county.

“They have both looked favourably on this idea and the district council has strongly indicated it would consider funding a business case for it,” said Coun Kerridge (Con, Studley & Mappleborough Green).

However, he added such an opportunity would only be available for a short while and urged the parish council to be positive and say this was something they wanted to see happen.

If so, it would be expected to take a lead on the project and develop a strong vision of what it might look like.

Finally it would have to be prepared to put some money the project, although this was likely to be less than any funding from the district council.

“My vision would be to start from ground zero – the basketball court and medical centre become the square with trees, benches, maybe a bandstand, linking Pool Road to the High Street, a place for the people of Studley to meet and hang out, a great space, a village square,” said Coun Kerridge.

The catch, he said, was that it was going to have to pay for itself and he envisaged a terrace of houses or offices where the youth centre currently stands.

Parish Council chair Sue Redman acknowledged a village square had always been something Studley lacked.

Councillors asked about the timescale, the money, and land ownership before unanimously deciding there was merit in the idea and voting to fully investigate its potential.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Kerridge said: “The endorsement of it being a good idea and to begin working on a vision to sell to the district and county councils was excellent.”

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