Stratford-upon-Avon should scrap grand projects such as a footbridge and opera house and concentrate on rejuvenating the tired tourist attractions the town has to offer, a lobby group has warned.

Stratford Vision, a campaign group formed by a number of residents' organisations, said the district council should look at easing congestion and tidy up dilapidated streets before it considered building "white elephants".

The group is to hold a meeting tomorrow to urge more residents to join its campaign and contest the council's plans.

It is urging the local authority to include Stratford Vision as a consultee in its various plans for the future of the town.

Martyn Luscombe, acting chairman of Stratford Vision, said: "There has been talk about a footbridge over the river, which nobody wants, talk about an opera house and talk about turning Stratford into a centre for arts and we don't think that is appropriate.

"We have a regional arts centre in Birmingham and Stratford has its own attractions, some of which are a little tired.

"At the moment a number of entrances to the town are very run down and dilapidated.

"The streets could do with improving, slabs are uneven. Roads are congested with traffic and those are the sort of problems we are interested in, not building grand projects which will become white elephants."

Stratford Vision recently organised a town poll on the future of house building.

About 3,000 residents voted, with 98 per cent opposing further large scale housing developments in and around the town.

Mr Luscombe added: "Time is running out for Stratford. Many residents are horrified by the scale of new housing development in the town, and by its uninspiring design. Yet the district council will not recognise any limit to further growth.

"At the same time the council, with financial backing from Advantage West Midlands, is pushing its own 'World Class Stratford' agenda, with little more than lip service to public consultation.

"Their 'vision' includes grandiose schemes for an opera house and a concert hall, neither of which appears to be supported by any perceptible consumer demand.

"To further this agenda, London consultants have been called in to 'create a design framework for the town'.

"Meanwhile Warwickshire County Council appears determined to impose a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the river that not even the district council seems to want.

"The prospect of £20 million AWM funding for Stratford, plus a further £100 million for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre redevelopment provides both an opportunity and a threat.

"An opportunity to solve some of Stratford's real problems at last, a threat because, left to our glory-seeking councillors and their career-minded officials, Stratford could be ruined for ever.

"If the basics can be put right, Stratford will thrive again."