COUNCIL chiefs have refused to extend a public consultation on controversial plans to build 2,700 homes on green land in Coventry after criticism from hundreds of residents.
The council has allowed only a three-week formal consultation period which ends on December 13.
Nearly 250 residents signed a petition demanding an extension.
Today, the council told us it will not extend the consultation phase but will consider every written response from between now and and the application’s expected decision date on March 16 next year, which is standard procedure.
Developer Hallam Land Management Ltd submitted a planning application to build in Eastern Green last month.
The large site was protected green belt land but has now been declassified in the council’s Local Plan.
If Coventry City Council approves the plans, 2,625 new houses, 60,000 square metres of warehousing, industrial units and a retail centre the size of Cannon Park would be built.
Conservative Woodlands councillors accused the Labour-controlled council of rushing plans through with not all residents given the chance to voice concerns.
The council’s head of planning Tracy Miller praised the work the developer has done consulting with residents. It includes conducting drop-in sessions and meetings with residents’ groups.
She added that although there is still a three-week period, it is customary for planners to “take comments, objections and support right up to the day of decision”.
Anyone who comments within the three-week period will automatically be asked if they wish to speak if the application goes to planning committee.
Initial proposals from the developer, outlined in the Local Plan, were only to build about 2,250 homes.
The Local Plan for two decades of development was adopted by the council last December and outlined a need for 42,400 homes to be built in the area by 2031.
A chief requirement for opposition Conservatives – who support a brownfield first housing policy – is the formation of a green buffer separating the new development and existing houses.
Coun Male said: “We’ve said from day one that we need a Local Plan for local people and not this developer’s charter.
“This is a complex and detailed planning application and we all need time to properly respond.”
Leader of the city Conservative group Gary Ridley said: “We already have concerns that the developers have sought to cram hundreds of additional homes onto this site than previously anticipated.
“Will it be able to cope with additional traffic? Will there be a green buffer between existing homes and new development?”
Campaigner Peter Maddock said: “The modelling for traffic seems to be illogical, the implications are extreme.
“And the area will be suffocated by building works.
“We need green barriers and residents are concerned about the strain on GPs services.”
Also included in the plans are a new primary school, a community hall, shopping facilities, a new park and sports space and the chance to create thousands of new jobs.
Hallam Land Management Ltd did not comment.