28th Jul, 2021

Many Whitley residents unaware of recycling facility plans until after official consultation period

RESIDENTS in Whitley claim they have been left in the dark about proposals for a new regional recycling plant near their homes.

A small focus group acting on behalf of residents has submitted a late objection to the proposed Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in London Road, Coventry, seeking to mitigate the impact of HGVs to and from the proposed site which they say would add to already high levels of traffic in the area.

In a letter to city planners ahead of tomorrow’s planning committee, Sara Maycock, a member of Whitley Residents and Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: “It is an insult to suggest that an additional 86 HGV movements per day (when operating at full capacity), some of these 26-ton articulated lorries, will have no impact on the local environment, road safety and air quality on the London Road and residents of Whitley and Whitley village.”

She told the Observer many Whitley residents are “in the main unaware of the development due to a general lack of communication about proposals”.

Ms Maycock, who considers the development to be in the wrong place, added: “Full residents’ meetings have not been happening this year due to Covid, which hasn’t helped.

“A small Focus group, chaired by Doug Lowe, supported by councillors (Richard) Brown and Roger Bailey have been endeavouring to act on their behalf.

“My understanding is that consultation letters in connection with the development were directed to residents in the immediate vicinity of the development site which would have been the houses in parts of Whitley Village – not Whitley itself.

“So, the residents on the Focus group were unaware of the scale and intention of the development until autumn 2020 after the official period of consultation had ended on September 20.”

In her letter of objection to the planning committee, Ms Maycock asked, in light of Coventry’s Climate Change Strategy, “why is the MRF being sited on a designated and important, (but now de-listed) Local Wildlife Site sited in the Sherbourne Valley Corridor, an important area of biodiversity running through the city?

“…The development is also writing over old allotment sites, taken for the abortive incinerator replacement project 10 years ago, which, if returned to the community, would support locally grown food production supporting Coventry’s Climate Change ambitions. Allotments are in great demand and have proved to be vital spaces during the Covid epidemic.”

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