Category Archives: Updates

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

Fivefield Road/Tamworth Road

There was a Council Planning Meeting on 4th March 2021. This meeting recommended approval for the development of 550 houses in Fivefield Road/Tamworth Road in Keresley.

There were eight Planning Committee Councillors present – three Conservative ward councillors and five Labour councillors.

The presentation did not include photographs of the area showing the landscape and Ancient Woods or the congested, dangerous country roads which will be expected to accommodate high volumes of traffic. There was no site inspection. Councillors were being asked to vote on this application, an area they were not familiar with.

A Planning Officer appraising the traffic situation stated “I am clutching at straws given my lack of geographical knowledge of the area”. A Coventry Council Ecologist in his report, objected to the application unless a survey of the Ancient Woods was forthcoming. Traffic surveys were conducted in 2016 prior to the opening of the Amazon site (2018) and subsequent developments in Lyons Park which has generated a huge amount of traffic in the area.

This was a complicated and extensive application. Four of the Planning Committee members did not ask one single question. The voting was 5 for and 3 against.

A petition was handed to the Council objecting to this development and further Keresley developments, totalling 7,000 signatures and endorsed by Andy Street who has long advocated a Brownfield First policy in his approach to housebuilding.

What has happened to our Democratic Society and the Council’s pledge to its residents of transparency? Clearly not in evidence concerning matters of Planning.