Windmill Green Planning Application

An application for up to 566 dwellings to be built on Windmill Green in Eastern Green will go before the planning committee next week. We would strongly advise residents to lodge objections to this, many of the issues raised with the applications covering the Keresley SUE are similar with the Eastern Green SUE. Please send your objections to planning@coventry.gov.uk and Owain Williams Owain.Williams@coventry.gov.uk quoting OUT/2020/2009 (Windmill Green) on or before Monday 02/08.

Please see below a list of suggested topics you can cover/include:

1) It is premature to make a decision until the outcome of the current legal challenge which would reverse the permission for Hallam because this site relies entirely on access and all other amenities enabled by the Hallam development scheme.

2) The Local Plan allocation for 2,250 dwellings in the Eastern Green SUE has already been substantially exceeded with recent consents for 2,579 (+14%). The proposed dwellings of this Application are not required to meet projected population growth.

3) The UKSA and current ONS Review is stated to “support the appropriate use of the existing data” and thereby does have an immediate implication for the Local Plan housing figures which is in direct contrast to the Council’s mis-interpretation.

4) Existing brownfield sites are capable of matching the present entire housing growth of Coventry for at least the next 5 years and this been disregarded by the Council in their calculations.

5) Crucially, completion of the Strategic Housing Needs Assessment recently commissioned is needed before any further large developments such as this site are approved.

6) All traffic modelling fails to take account of other major developments both in and around the Coventry area, for instance the HS2 Interchange and additional congestion on the A45 and other major routes through Coventry is inevitable.

7) The development proposal fails to reflect climate change and the new regularity for flooding affecting the numerous watercourses both on site and upstream/downstream.

8) There is immense support across Coventry for the retention of the golf course as supported by Sport England but their formal Objection has been simply dismissed. This sports facility is extremely popular and increasingly busy and at the Local Plan Examination a report instigated by the land owner that it is “surplus to requirements” was aimed entirely at the prospect of future development.

9) The adverse impact of losing an important and strategically located sports amenity demonstrably outweighs the benefit of granting consent for unnecessary dwellings. “Demonstrable harm” is a valid reason for refusal according to paragraph 11d of the NPPF.

Save the Green Belt!

Save our Meriden Gap

The beautiful Warwickshire countryside, all around Coventry, is in grave danger of being covered over with thousands of houses – at Kings Hill, Eastern Green, Keresley, Allesley, Cromwell Lane, Westwood Heath, and more. Our green lungs and farmland are at risk. During the 2016 Local Plan process Coventry Council took this land out of Green Belt, and allocated it for housing, on the basis of population figures now being questioned by the Office of Statistics Regulation. We are monitoring the OSR very closely and will use the reports to influence future housing policy.

Our first legal battle has commenced in the Planning Court 15 July.

URGENT FUNDING NEEDED TO SUPPORT THE CASE

The Crowdfunding Page
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-our-green-belt-coventry/

In June Coventry granted planning consent for mixed use housing at Eastern Green and urgent action is now needed to fund legal proceedings to halt development from proceeding. The claim was brought by The Campaign to Protect Rural England Warwickshire.

Our legal team has framed the case as a fundamental issue that goes to the heart of the question of housing growth in our region. If we have to lose Green Belt to meet housing needs, then new housing must deliver housing to meet local needs. Seems obvious but when approving the Eastern Green consent, Coventry City Council failed to ask that question and failed to condition the consent to ensure the development delivers housing suitable for our population. That failure puts more Green Belt land at risk as developers deliver unaffordable “executive” housing just creating more pressure to release even more Green Belt.


With the national news on 15 July about a possible Giga battery factory in Coventry what is needed is homes to meet the population needs not large executive homes that are unaffordable to most and which cannot provide housing to bring the jobs to Coventry.

This is Our Last Chance

We have tried everything: petitions, articles in the press, marches, radio, TV, lobbying MPs and the government. This is our last chance. So we need your help to fund the legal proceedings.

If you feel as we do, as local residents, that this development should only proceed in a manner that ensures that, if we
have to lose the Green Belt, then we need to ensure that homes are built to meet
local needs… Then PLEASE make your feelings known and contribute to our
crowdfunding page.

Cheques: You can also post a cheque, made out to CPRE Warwickshire, to CPRE, 41a Smith St, Warwick, CV34 4JA. If you give an address or email they will send a Gift Aid form. Mark your cheque for ‘Judicial Review’.

If you can, please give today. We need to raise £13,000 by 10am on 7 August 21, but this could rise to £50,000 to complete the case. All donations, small or large, will really help. Please send this on to anyone else who may feel as passionately as we do.

Ancient Arden, photographed at Eastern Green

Questions?

  • Is this judicial review for Eastern Green or for others around the city?
    • Is is for the Hallam Land application for 2400 homes at Eastern Green. However, if it succeeds, it will help other cases, all round the city.
  • What is the basis case that the legal team has, that makes it possible to win this case?
    • “The Officer’s Report was significantly misleading, and the Council erred in law, because the Council granted the Permission with no condition controlling the housing mix.”
    • The Planning Committee was significantly misled as they were told at the meeting that the Interested Parties had assessed the cumulative effect of development outside the boundaries of the Coventry Local Plan (2016) (“CLP”) when assessing the highways impact of the Development
  • What are our realistic chances of winning against a council that has deep pockets?
    • The law is difficult but other local groups have succeeded. A local group in Leeds, won a court case against Leeds City Council, which will require land to be returned to green belt. Their case is not the same as ours, but it shows determined local people can win. They raised £72,000.
  • What are your realistic chances of reaching the £13,000 target?
    • More than 20,000 people have signed our petitions. If they all gave just £10, it would raise £200,000 which gives you an idea of what can be possible. The fundraising has started well.
  • If the target is not met, do we get our money back or is the money not taken unless the target is met?
    • The pledges will only be collected if and when we meet our initial target, which is £13,000 by 10 AM on 7 Aug 2021.
  • Where does my money go?
    • The money goes to the Campaign to Protect Rural England Warwickshire Branch who are bringing the case. They are a long established local Charity reg 1092486, with offices in Warwick.

PLEASE make your feelings known and contribute to our crowdfunding page

More info:
https://www.coventrygreenbelt.org – Keep Our Green Belt Green, [KOGG]
https://www.cprewarwickshire.org.uk – CPRE Warwickshire
Contact office@cprewarwickshire.org.uk

Thompsons Road/Bennetts Road Planning Committee

Please object to 500 homes off Thompsons Road, Keresley OUT/2019/0484

Deadline Wed 12 noon 26th May (the planning committee will decide on Thursday 27 May)

Send your comments to

planning@coventry.gov.uk

dean.leadon@coventry.gov.uk

Give this reference: 500 homes off of Thompsons Road Keresley OUT/2019/0484

Points you may wish to include:

  1. The homes are not needed.
    1. There is enough brownfield left for 10 years at current rates of building. The council should now put on hold all planning decisions relating to former green belt land.
    2. The evidence for removing this land from green belt has collapsed. The Office of Statistics Regulation [OSR], on 10 May 2021, found that the population forecasts, were “inconsistent with local data and potentially too high”. In plain language, it means that there has been no sign of extra school admissions, additional A&E attendance, extra gas and electric usage, more pensions or voters, more births, more deaths, more waste in domestic bins, than there has been in the past, when growth was just average. The detail is well known to the council.
    3. In her report, Rebecca Phillips, the local plan inspector cited “significant growth” [para 106] as the “exceptional circumstance”, to justify removing land from green belt. Following the OSR report, there is no evidence of “significant growth” and no reason to remove the land from green belt.
    4. The correct course of action is return this land to green belt, as Leeds City Council is currently doing, at the direction of the High Court, in response to reduced 2016 population projections.
    5. The council should place all planning decisions on former green belt on hold, until ONS revises the population projections and estimates, as OSR have instructed ONS. ONS is required to present a plan of action by July 2021.
    6. In the alternative, the council should put all decisions about former green belt, on hold, until March 2022, when the census will give reliable figures for Coventry.
  2. Building homes on the outskirts of Coventry is unsustainable.
    1. Homes on the fringes have 2 to 4 times the carbon footprint of city centre dwellings. Building here, with its greater carbon footprint, , is contrary to the Council declaration of a climate emergency in 2020.
    2. The transport assessments are unsound. There is no evidence that 10% of the residents will switch to bikes, walking and buses. Council officers can cite only one case in England where a modal shift like this has occurred, at Northstowe in Cambridgeshire and that is not comparable to Keresley – it’s a new town, with dedicated cycleways, and a guided busway. No rapid transit is remotely possible on Bennetts Road or the Tamworth Road, and the area is far too hilly to expect commuters to cycle to work or schools.
    3. The standard used to assess the transport effects of development, the IEMA 1993 guidance, is invalid – it does not apply, in its own words, to matters of “highway capacity or operation.” It is far too lenient; effects less than 30% are not considered significant. Official transport guidance in Northern Ireland and Scotland considers even a 1% increase can be significant on busy roads.
    4. Much of the development will be more than 400 m from the nearest bus stop, contrary to the requirements of the local plan. Some homes will be 800 m from a bus stop.
    5. Coventry Council has obstructed residents obtaining relevant traffic modelling at Winding House Lane, Ricoh Arena, and J3 M6 – We are unable to effectively participate in assessing the traffic effects, contrary to the Aarhus Convention – currently the roads are already “severely” congested in the mornings, especially at J3 according to Highways England and a new traffic profile will potentially emerge across the NW quarter of the city once the Keresley Link is completed.
  3. These homes will wreak grievous harm onto the Ancient Arden landscape.
    1. Coventry Council pronounced, in their own 1995 landscape guidance, [This area is] “especially significant as it is now the only remaining relatively unspoilt area of ancient countryside remaining in Warwickshire”
    2. The development will ruin the view from the Ancient Monument – a Roman hill fort and stone age encampment – at the top of Corley Rocks. – see picture below.
  4. This development will damage the adjacent ancient woodlands, Bunson’s Wood.
    1. Woodland Trust guidance recommends a 50m buffer, and in the case of major developments, like this one, 100m. The Natural England standing guidance also recommends a broader buffer for larger developments. Their 15 m recommendation applies only to root protection and similarly requires greater protection for larger developments. Need for greater protection was not adequately considered. .
    2. Biodiversity will decline.
      • Prowling cats, and dogs will exterminate ground nesting birds. Pet excreta will over fertilise the soil, giving rise to nettles buttercups, docks and other coarse species, at the expense of fragile woodland flora – like wood anemones, wood sorrel, yellow archangel, opposite leaved saxifrage, dogs mercury, hemp agrimony etc.
      • Pets and the wind will bring seeds of coarse invasive species into the woods from gardens. (dock, mares tail, burdock, dandelion, buttercups, )
      • Badgers, a protected species, will leave the area, reducing significant biodiversity.
      • 13 Specialist farmland birds in the area, of particular interest to Natural England, have severely declined since 1970, and will lose habitat. Skylarks, lapwings, tree sparrows and yellow hammer will not live in a suburb.
      • Fly-tipping, and littering inevitably will increase, particularly in the ancient woodland.

A picture taken from the Corley Hill Fort, has clear visibility of the land behind Thompsons Road.

City Nature Challenge 2021

Friday 30th April– Monday 3rd May


This year Coventry will be participating in the global City Nature Challenge, the sixth annual City Nature Challenge which has expanded to more than 400 cities across six continents.

Due to Covid there will be no organised events but we are encouraging everyone to get out and help record wildlife in Coventry. Understanding of wildlife will help safeguard sites and guide sympathetic management.

What
Find and record wildlife in your home, neighbourhood, backyard, or anywhere else! It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mould, or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, shells, or carcasses. There’s lots of wildlife in homes, gardens and greenspaces across Coventry

How
Download the iNaturalist app to phone/tablet/laptop (available for windows/android/iphone) and use it to photograph and upload records


Where
The CNC area covers the whole of Coventry* together with Coombe Abbey Park and Warwick University campus (*other cities may be available. But who cares?)
All of the records will be checked and assessed by a growing, international group of iNaturalist enthusiasts. All records will contribute to the global total and be passed to local and UK recording schemes

When
Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May
Records for City Nature Challenge have to be submitted by May 9th at the very latest
City Nature Challenge is fun and exciting but iNaturalist records can be submitted all day every day and helps us build an understanding of wildlife. Even if its outside Coventry.

iNaturalist app

The app is based on taking photo of animal/plant using phone and uploading record. It is easy. The app is pretty good at suggesting identifications but once uploaded there’s a well-established community to help. Photos can also be effortlessly uploaded from camera etc using desktop version

Download app from https://uk.inaturalist.org/ (or from Google Play/ App store). The website has lots of useful information and guidance

Once you create an account and log in you can start uploading records or see what everyone else has been doing

There are lots of helpful YouTube videos eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xENz1xRu0wI

Coventry City Nature Challenge

Details of Coventry and all the records can be found at: https://uk.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-coventry-uk