Category Archives: Updates

Brownfield First

CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Warwickshire started their “Brownfield first” campaign on social media this week. Please find their Facebook page here. You might recognise the photographs, both aerial and ground based, for they are of sites around Coventry.

Coventry City Council and other local authority planning areas – Warwick, Solihull, Stratford, Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth along with North Warwickshire – must be made stop trashing our countryside and instead build on the masses of brownfield sites that exist in their districts, cities and boroughs. It is absolutely criminal that they ignore this available land and prefer instead to take the easy route of allowing developers to bulldoze and concrete over of our green fields.

What would be great is if you would look at the link, then like it and comment on it. And then even better, forward it to your contacts list. The more people that get to understand what is being done to our countryside and object to it, the more likely Councils and their councillors will start being a bit more wary – you might vote them out of office!

UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority communicated today that they’re going to undertake a review of the population projections and population estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and how they are used.
 
This is excellent news for our cause – you can read the full response here

Phase 2 Taylor Wimpey Development For 397 Houses (Tamworth/Bennetts Road) Planning Application RM/2020/2399

Can all residents please raise their objections to Coventry Council objecting to the development in Sandpits lane – most council staff are working from home therefore send a message on the Planning Comments page or e-mail direct to planning@coventry.gov.uk.

The closing date for objections is 30th November and be sure to include TAMWORTH/BENNETTS ROAD DEVELOPMENT ref. RM/2020/2399

Some points are provided below. As always, it is best if you can adapt the bullets and use at least some of your own words and experience. Attached is the excellent Planning Objection prepared by Keresley Parish Council.

Continue reading

Andy Street and 5 West Midlands MPs challenge ONS figures for Coventry population

Mayor of West Midlands and 5 local MPs challenge ONS population estimates for Coventry
CPRE calls on Coventry to suspend damaging planning decisions.


Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, 5 local MPs (Zarah Sultana (L), Tai Owatemi,(L) Craig Tracey (C), Jeremy Wright (C), and Mark Pawsey (C)’, and CPRE Warwickshire have sent a letter of complaint to the UK Statistics Authority, which regulates official stats in the UK and supervises ONS.

They are challenging the population estimates and projections for Coventry and asking the UKSA to carry out an independent review. They say that bad planning decisions are being made on the back of bad data. They do not believe that there is any evidence, that Coventry population is growing twice as fast as Birmingham, three times as fast as Solihull, or four times as fast as Warwick – as the ONS mid year estimates and projections claim,

Sir Andrew Watson chair of CPRE Warwickshire, said that planning decisions about the green belt in and around Coventry, should be deferred until the UKSA can respond to overwhelming evidence, endorsed by 4 international demographic experts, that exceptional population growth in Coventry is not happening. That evidence is summarised in the letter. He said, “It would be tragic if the historic and beautiful forest of arden landscape, one of Warwickshire’s treasures, was sacrificed for homes that are not needed in this place at this time.

As an example, he cites the fact that births in Coventry have been far below the levels predicted by ONS, by more than 1000/yr – the population is just not growing in the way that they projected. Other data, such as the numbers of voters, school admissions , amount of gas and electricity used, pensions claimed, jobs growth, house prices, house completions & starts, all show that population growth in Coventry is just average for the region – that it is not launching into some rocket propelled expansion.

On Thursday 26 November, Coventry Council Planning Committee, is going to consider an application for 2500 homes at Eastern Green, in the so called Meriden Gap between Coventry and Birmingham. Over many years multiple planning inspectors have emphasised the importance of keeping this rural green landscape -o prevent Coventry from merging into Birmingham and to protect the separate identities of the two cities. CPRE feels that this land was unnecessarily removed from Green Belt by the latest Coventry Local Plan and that Coventry Council should review its local plan, in the light of new evidence, and return it to green belt.

Sir Andrew said that Coventry needs to look at all the evidence, and not be blinded by blind faith in the Office of National Statistics. They can and do make mistakes. In 2017, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said “Many of the available measures [of migration] are wholly inadequate. ….. the International Passenger Survey …..cannot bear the burden placed upon it and cannot be relied upon to provide accurate estimates of net migration.” Student migration is a “significant challenge”2. CPRE points out that miscounting international students – of whom there are 16,000 in the city – can account for a very large part of the error in the numbers. ONS counts them in, but fails to count them out when they go home.

CPRE believe that inaccurate population projections and estimates are likely a national problem and would welcome contact from others who feel that the numbers in their area are inflated and unwarranted housing growth is being forced upon them .

Taylor Wimpey Phase 2 Development (RM/2020/2399)

The closing date for objections for this development is 30th November 2020.
 
On the 23rd November we shall be listing our suggestions for legitimate objections to help you respond to this application.
 
Please refer to our Facebook/Website pages.
 
Submissions can be by e-mail or post. All details will be displayed on 23rd November.
 

Petition Presentation

Save our Green Belt
Come to the old Council House, Tuesday 8 Sept, 13.15
We will present petitions with 6,300 signatures

Please come to the old Council House on Tuesday 8 Sept, at 13.15. We are going to hand over our petitions, calling for a review of the local plan, with more than 6000 signatures to Gary Ridley, at 13.30. The press will be coming so it would be good to have lots of people, socially distanced of course.

We are asking for an immediate review of the local plan and a moratorium on planning permissions on former green belt land (it is possible, there is plenty of brownfield land still, and there was a moratorium in Warwick District from 2005-2009).

Gary will present the petitions (2 of them) to the full Council that day, with a very brief speech. There will be a live feed if you wish to watch Gary’s presentation (link to be provided shortly).

Please wear your mask, and keep social distance. Bring placards and banners.

At a later date, Gary and a residents’ spokesperson will get a chance to make a longer presentation to either the Cabinet or the Cabinet Member for Development’s committee – we will let you know later the date and time of that event when we have the details.