Author Archives: Mark Weldon

Protest Walk

On Sunday afternoon, 150 local people walked around historic and beautiful Keresley to protest against plans to build 3100 homes on land that was until recently greenbelt. Coventry council themselves said, in 1995, it is the best remaining piece of the Ancient Arden landscape (the model for Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden) People were amazed to learn that a rare Charles the Bold Doubloon, from the 1400’s was found in the fields, and that high quality floor tiles found behind behind the Royal Court Hotel probably indicate the site of a medieval chapel, – old maps confirm the conclusion; the site is called ‘God’s hill’.

A local, Phil Blackmore, said “I’ve lived here most of my life and this is disgusting. Why spoil beautiful countryside? It shouldn’t be allowed. Who has been given a backhander? Everyone walks their dog and goes out here to get a bit of peace and fresh air”” .

Another walker said, “an election is coming very soon and we don’t think Geoffrey Robinson will stand again. Anyone who campaigns on greenbelt, as a main pledge, has a really good chance of winning in Coventry Northwest. People in around here are furious about this.

People came from all parts of the city to take part- and to protest at plans for 13,000 homes on former greenbelt, from Kings Hill in Finham, on round through Westwood Heath, Cromwell Lane, Eastern Green, Coundon Wedge, and Keresley – it adds up to a new town the size of Bedworth, and the hospitals, and schools already can’t cope while the roads are choked and the air is foul. Organisers asked why is the council doing this when these homes are not actually needed on any plausible estimate of population growth?

Walkers carried signs that said,

“Coventry should review it’s local plan now. A population boom is NOT happening here”

“Save our Green Belt

“Climate Change! Don’t build on town edges Suburbs emit double, triple C02”

Organisers, Ann Evans, Dorothy Hall, Lorna Humphreys, Eileen Hughes, Colin Smith, and Merle Gering urged local people who care about wildlife, our precious historic landscape, and climate change to get in touch via our facebook page “Keep Our Green Belt Green. Coventry and Warwickshire” or to email info@coventrygreenbelt.org. They said, There is no need to build on the green fields – all the houses that are really needed will fit on brownfield. Coventry council needs to wake up.

Keresley Community Walk

Save Our Greenbelt – Keresley Community Walk
Sunday 6th October 2019 3pm
Leaving from the Hare and Hounds, Watery Lane, Keresley
One hour easy walk over historic and beautiful Keresley – Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden
Please walk with us, show your support and protect our Green Belt

More details here

Petition presented to Coventry City Council

On Monday 29th April 2019 we presented our Greenbelt petition to the council. They fussed over how the purdah rules prevent George Duggins from coming out to take the petition. We took the pictures and handed it in anyway to George Duggins PA. We think he is responsible for the local plan and should answer our case. It is perfectly legit to ask questions of a party leader in an election. his comment, through his pa, was that we should hand it in through a local ward councillor. We replied that it is a citywide matter – 2054 people had signed the petition as of that morning and it is still growing (as i write, at 2171). If you’ve not yet signed please do – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/return-our-land-to-green-belt-coventry

Thompsons Road application OUT/2019/0484

The planning application has been submitted for 500 homes between Bunsen Wood and the Keresley Rugby Club (also known as Thompsons Road / Thompsons Farm development). If you have concerns about this development, and how it will affect the local area when considered alongside all the other developments, now is the time to raise your objection.

Please submit your comments on the website or write a short email opposing the development and send it by midnight on 17 April to planning@coventry.gov.uk. You need to give this reference: OUT/2019/0484 (if you miss the deadline your comments are still considered so it’s still worth doing).

To help you, here are some points you may want to consider (use your own words when you submit it if possible):

1. The development will destroy an important remnant of the Ancient Arden Landscape. The area is “especially significant” as “the only remaining area of ancient countryside in Warwickshire.” [quote from the 1995 Coventry Arden policy]. The homes will blight the view from the roman hill fort at Corley Rocks, a scheduled Ancient Monument.

2. Building on former greenbelt is not necessary. 8 years into the local plan period, there no sign of the promised population boom. A review of the latest Office of National Statistics data and research – which has been provided to the city council by Keep Our Green Belt Green, – shows no sign of a spike in a wide range of indicators, including: Gas and Electric consumption, electoral roll, births, school admissions, car registrations, jobs growth, house prices, house building, state pensions and ESA benefits claimed, and domestic waste tipped into bins. If people are pouring into Coventry, they are ghosts or vampires who leave no trace. (let us know if you want to see the statistics – info@coventrygreenbelt.org).

3. The development will reduce biodiversity. 13 or 19 specialist farmland birds, including skylarks, barn owl, and lapwing, live and breed in the area. Such birds have suffered catastrophic losses – down 70% in the last 40 years, according to Natural England. These birds will all be gone once the houses are built. Badgers, a protected species live adjacent and will not tolerate living next to thousands of people and cats and dogs. They will go.

4. Local roads cannot take the traffic from 3,100 new homes in the Keresley area. Bennetts road and the Radford Road are already badly congested in the mornings. North Warks council has objected that the small country roads nearby will be used as rat runs and are entirely unsuitable. The draft Air quality plan, which will close off the Holyhead road and Coundon road, will force more traffic, coming from the A45, into the Keresley Road Radford Road corridor, which will combine with traffic from this development.

5. Taken as a whole, with all the 42,400 homes planned in or near Coventry, there will be a highly adverse effect on air pollution. Already Coventry is one of the 30 worst cities in the country for air quality and it has the worst polluted road in the West Midlands. Air pollution needs to be considered “cumulatively,” (in the words of the EU Air Quality Directive) not piecemeal. Far more people die from air pollution in Coventry than from road traffic fatalities.

6. The local health facilities can’t cope. UHCW has objected that they don’t have the capacity to accommodate 3,000 more houses, let alone 42,400 envisaged for the whole Coventry area. No one has consulted the ambulance service, the GP service (the CCG) or the mental health service. Local GP surgeries are bursting.

7. There is no assurance that schools and GP surgeries will be built in time, if ever. At Banner Lane, 10 years ago, a surgery and a primary school were promised but they are still not built.

8. The ancient woodlands will suffer from excess trampling and pet excreta. The additional fertilisation from pet poo, will encourage nettles and brambles and choke out ancient woodland plants such as wood anemone, wood sorrel, the yellow archangel, opposite leaved saxifrage -all found in the local woods.


If you are at all concerned about the amount of development around Coventry we all need for you to voice those concerns to the council. The planning committee need to know just how many of us do not agree with their plans. Once the development is done it cannot be reversed and the damage is done.

Site of 500 homes planned between Bunsen Wood and Keresley Rugby club