10th Dec, 2016

Coventry MP slams proposals for 4,000 homes near Finham and Westwood Heath

Coventry Editorial 6th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

PROPOSALS to build more than 4,000 homes near Finham and Westwood Heath have been branded ‘audacious and disgraceful’ by a Coventry MP.

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, has hit out at Conservative-run Warwick District Council’s plans to build 4,000 homes in Green Belt land in Kings Hill and and 425 homes near Westwood Heath by 2029 – arguing it is Coventry Council which will have to provide for the new residents.

The homes off Kings Hill Lane near Finham would be situated right on the Coventry-Warwickshire border – meaning new residents would likely use neighbouring services rather than those in further afield Warwickshire.

Mr Cunningham said: “Look at where they propose to locate thousands of houses – miles from the built up areas and infrastructure of Warwickshire but right next to already over used and overstretched roads, schools and doctors surgeries in Coventry.

“And just to put the boot in, leaders in the Warwickshire Tory Party have stated that they have no intention of letting Coventry extend its boundary so these new dwellings would come under the jurisdiction of the Coventry City Council area.

“Instead, all council tax would go directly to Warwickshire whereas the extra burden of delivering new services for thousands of new people would fall on the already hard pressed tax payers in Coventry.”

But Warwick District Council (WDC) planning policy manager, Dave Barber, has hit back at Mr Cunningham’s accusations.

He argues that as WDC was forced by Government to include an additional 6,000 in its Local Development Plan to help meet Coventry’s housing needs, it chose areas close to the city to make the commute easier for residents.

Calling on Coventry residents to oppose the plans, Mr Cunningham added: “Never, has there been such an audacious and disgraceful plan, cooked up by Tories in Warwickshire to wreak beautiful countryside and cause long term chaos and economic inequality.”

The plans are set to be discussed at a full Warwick District Council meeting later this month. If they are approved there will be a six-week consultation period before the document is submitted to the inspector.

A decision would then be expected early next year.