25th May, 2020

Coronavirus: Coventry council accused of using pandemic to approve homes without consulting residents

John Carlon 24th Mar, 2020

CAMPAIGNERS against new homes in the north of Coventry have hit out against a ‘lack of due process’ at the city council.

Plans for 40 houses by Watery Lane in Keresley were approved by Coventry City Council planning officers on March 6, under delegated powers.

Permission was granted while all council meetings, including the planning committee, are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Maddocks, who has campaigned against new homes proposed for Keresley and the north of Coventry, said: “The council has lists of all the people who have corresponded to consultations about the Watery Lane development, and rather than send the letters out to the homes affected in the immediate proximity, they should have given a wider consultation to all the people affected in Keresley. There should be more time for publicity at times like this.”

Permission granted this month was for a re-submission of the same proposals from JC Gray and the Newcombe Estates Company, which the council asked to be withdrawn in November 2018.

Planners wanted a section 106 agreement, which sets out developers’ contributions to community funds, to be written up before the determination period expired.

No new section 106 agreement was put in place, despite the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust requesting £65,000 from developers to meet the increased pressure on health services.

Merle Gering, chair of Keep Our Greenbelt Green, said: “Planners knew full well if they had informed the known interested parties, who are on the council’s lists, then five people would have objected and it would at least have gone to committee.”

Coventry City Council has been contacted for comment.

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