A BLUEPRINT for Coventry’s future growth and expansion over the next 20 years – including the creation of 42,40 new homes and the controversial development of ten per cent of the city’s Greenbelt – is set to be given the green light by city councillors.
Members of the Council’s Cabinet and full Council will be asked to approve the Draft Local Plan (DLP) for the final stage of consultation when they meet on Tuesday (January 12).
The plan identifies where up to 42,400 new homes could be built in and around the city over the next two decades on brownfield sites, Greenbelt sites in the city and other sites over the city’s boundaries in Warwickshire.
It also highlights areas for new employment sites, services and infrastructure that will need to be developed and the kind of places and environments that will be created.
The main areas earmarked for development are in Eastern Green, Keresley, Longford, Walsgrave Hill Farm, Whitley, Cromwell Lane and Browns Lane which could take up to 7,000 new homes and 50ha of employment land.
This growth will involve the development of 10 per cent of the city’s existing Greenbelt – to the disgust of campaigners.
Outraged Keresley parish councillor and Greenbelt campaigner Sandra Camwell described Coventry as a ‘concrete jungle’ and slammed the proposals.
She added: “A resident said to me the other day that the council has done more damage to Coventry than Germany did in World War II – and I agree.
“If we continue like this, we will end up merged into Warwickshire – then where will Coventry be? We’re losing our identity.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me.
“The whole thing is a joke.”
The proposal includes 17,000 new homes earmarked to be built on brownfield sites or areas already earmarked for housing.
The plan also identifies parts of the city that should be reclassified as local green space, including War Memorial Park, Sowe Valley and woodland areas in Tile Hill.
Coun Kevin Maton, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment said: “If we’re serious about making this city great again and providing opportunities for young people then we need more homes across the city, particularly bigger family homes.
“We have really tight boundaries and the only way we can grow the city is to use some of our existing under developed land.
“We are talking about a really small proportion – around 10 per cent.
“I think this is better than the alternative which would be to build skyscraper tower blocks across the city or to cram too many houses on small sites in already built up areas.
“Of course this doesn’t mean we don’t value green spaces. We know how important they are for recreation and for wildlife.
“That’s why we are also taking steps to further protect some of our most valuable green areas by re designating them as local green space.
“While we’re very clear that the option we are proposing is the best one for the whole city we are very interested in hearing people’s views on the Local Plan.”
The consultation starts on January 18 and will finish on February 29. Comments and feedback will then be considered by the Council before final submission of the plan to Government inspectors at the end of March.
The plan will then be subject to a full Public Inquiry which is likely to be held in the summer. If adopted the plan will come into force from late 2016
You can take part in the consultation and see the plans at the following dates, times and venues:
St. Andrew’s Church, Church Road, off Hockley Road
Public meeting – Tuesday, January 19; 7pm to 9pm
Drop-in session – Monday February 15; 3pm to 7pm.
Whitley Academy, Abbey Road
Public meeting – Tuesday, January 26 from 7pm to 9pm.
Drop-in session – Tuesday, February 16; 3pm to 7pm.
Lentons Lane Baptist Church
Public meeting – Monday, February 8; 7pm to 9pm.
Drop-in session – Tuesday, February 23; 3pm to 7pm.
Xcel Leisure Centre, Mitchell Avenue
Public meeting (at ward forum) – Tuesday, February 9′ 7pm to 9pm.
Drop-in session – Wednesday, February 17; 3pm to 7pm.
Grangehurst Primary School, Anderton Road
Public meeting – Wednesday, February 10; 7pm to 9pm.
Drop-in session – Wednesday, February 24; 3pm to 7pm.
City Centre: 30 Market Way
Thursday, February 4; 11am to 3pm.
Friday, February 5; 11am to 3pm
Saturday, February 6; 10ma to 3pm.