Council dismisses call for housing plan review after Eastern Green homes rise again to 3.5k - The Coventry Observer

11th Aug, 2022

Council dismisses call for housing plan review after Eastern Green homes rise again to 3.5k

Felix Nobes 28th Feb, 2019

THE COUNCIL has dismissed fresh calls to review its housebuilding plans after it confirmed new homes in Eastern Green could controversially rise by another 1,000.

Coventry City Council has told us the originally planned 2,250 homes in the area could now rise to 3,495.

Opposition councillors have branded the latest increase as a further ‘betrayal’ of residents, and have called for the review.

As we reported, developer Hallam Land Management Ltd submitted a planning application to build on a rural area in Eastern Green.

The large site – around the size of 210 football pitches – was protected green belt land but was declassified in the council’s Local Plan approved two years ago, which plans for 42,400 new homes across the city by 2031.

If the council approves the plans, it would see a ‘village-sized’ development constructed, together with industrial units and warehousing, and a retail centre the size of Cannon Park.

Plans also include a new primary school, community hall, shops, a new park and sports facilities.

The developer has submitted its latest models, after previously increasing the number of homes from 2,250 to 2,650, prompting anger.

Council chiefs say they are expecting to receive a further application from the developer for a nearby golf course site and others, taking the total to 3,495.

Opposition Conservative councillors were aghast to read a claim that the 2,250 homes were only ever considered a ‘minimum’ in a note sent last week from cabinet member for housing Councillor Ed Ruane, telling them of the latest rise.

It comes despite high profile objections to the previously modelled 2,625 home scheme from the NHS, the Environment Agency and Highways England.

Concerns were raised about the development increasing strain on the already stretched University Hospital in Walsgrave, possibly jeopardising lives, and exacerbating traffic issues.

Pressure is mounting for the council to review the Local Plan following similar concerns about one of the major Keresley developments for 550 new homes, where 3,100 are planned.

As we reported, new research by green campaigner Merle Gering – who also called for a review – has reignited claims the population explosion for which the Local Plan is modelled does not really exist.

Conservative Woodlands ward councillor Peter Male said: “It’s clear the council has no intention of honouring its own Local Plan.

“So we’ve sought clarification from the planning inspector on whether this application is in breach of it.

“Make no mistake, once the greenbelt is gone it’s gone forever and cramming an extra 1,000 houses on Eastern Green would be a disaster for this community.

“Residents have been lied to at every stage of this process but this final act of betrayal will take a long time to be forgotten.”

A council spokesperson said: “We modelled on 2,250 homes as part of our Local Plan work.

“The developer has modelled on 3,495 new homes on the overall site.

“This has been done as the application is for more homes and this needs to take into account any future applications that might be submitted for other, connected sites.

“We do expect to receive an application for the golf course site.

“Reviewing the modelling work will be a key aspect of our considerations in terms of impact on infrastructure – especially the highway network.

“We constantly review the Local Plan – using new data.

“But we do not expect to do anything specific as a result of this application.”

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