Save our Green Belt!
The beautiful Warwickshire countryside, all around Coventry, is in grave danger of being covered with thousands of houses – at Eastern Green, Kings Hill*, Westwood Heath*, Keresley, Allesley, Cromwell Lane, and more. During the 2016 Local Plan process Coventry Council took land out of Green Belt, and allocated it for housing, on the basis of population figures now questioned by the Office of Statistics Regulation (OSR).**
Eastern Green update, February 2022
After the disappointing order from the judge, refusing to grant permission for the Judicial Review claim to proceed, CPRE considered the case prospects with the advice of its legal team and decided to discontinue the proceedings in settlement with the Council and IP.
CPRE Warwickshire maintains its long standing objection to development in the Green Belt and remains concerned about the transport impacts on the local road network. However it accepts the decision of the judge.
We have reached our initial target of £13,000 and have what’s called ‘stretched’ the figure we are looking to raise to fight the City Council at court. £50,000 is about the figure it will cost us to undertake this course of action – something we would rather not do obviously, but needs must on this occasion.
Our countryside is unnecessarily being trashed for the sake of housing that is patently not required. What is needed is affordable housing for our youngsters and key workers and that means being close to jobs and amenities within the city and there are plenty of ‘brownfield’ sites available to do this.
So please continue to donate and help save Coventry’s green belt and green spaces.
Some good news also – the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government seems to agree with the ‘Housing Mix’ grounds for our case. If you have the strength, have a look at the submissions on his behalf. But if you haven’t, trust me it’s good news!
Our first legal battle has commenced
In the Planning Court 15 July 2021.
Urgent funding needed for the case.
In June Coventry granted planning consent for 2400 homes at Eastern Green in the Meriden Gap, (‘mixed use housing’) and urgent action is needed now to fund legal proceedings to halt the development from going ahead.
New housing must meet local needs
Our legal team has framed the case as a fundamental issue that goes to the heart of housing growth in the region. If we have to lose Green Belt, then new housing must deliver housing to meet local needs.
Seems obvious but when approving the Eastern Green consent, Coventry City Council failed to ask that question and failed to condition the consent to ensure the development delivers housing suitable for our population. That failure puts more Green Belt at risk as developers provide unaffordable “executive” homes, creating more pressure to release additional Green Belt land.
Sir Andrew Watson
Chair, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Warwickshire
*While Kings Hill and Westwood Heath are in Warwick District, the homes are for the benefit of alleged Coventry housing need.
**We are monitoring the OSR very closely and will use their reports to influence future housing policy.