The campaign to save the former green belt in Eastern Green from development has moved into the courts. Local Campaigners together with the Campaign to Protect Rural England Warwickshire are taking Coventry City Council to court to challenge a recent planning decision that has given the go-ahead for housing development in the area.
Campaigners state “The beautiful Warwickshire countryside, all around Coventry, is in grave danger of being covered over with thousands of houses – at Kings Hill, Eastern Green, Keresley, Allesley, Cromwell Lane, Westwood Heath, and more. Our green lungs and farmland are at risk. During the 2016 Local Plan process Coventry Council took this land out of Green Belt, and allocated it for housing, on the basis of population figures now being questioned by the Office of Statistics Regulation. We are monitoring the OSR very closely and will use the reports to influence future housing policy.
“In June Coventry granted planning consent for mixed use housing at Eastern Green and urgent action is now needed to fund legal proceedings to halt development from proceeding. The claim was brought by The Campaign to Protect Rural England Warwickshire.
“Our legal team has framed the case as a fundamental issue that goes to the heart of the question of housing growth in our region. If we have to lose Green Belt to meet housing needs, 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 land at risk as developers deliver unaffordable “executive” housing just creating more pressure to release even more Green Belt.
“With the national news on 15 July about a possible Giga battery factory in Coventry what is needed is homes to meet the population needs not large executive homes that are unaffordable to most and which cannot provide housing to bring the jobs to Coventry.”
Campaigners feel that this is their last chance “We have tried everything: petitions, articles in the press, marches, radio, TV, lobbying MPs and the government. This is our last chance. So we need your help to fund the legal proceedings.
“If you feel as we do, as local residents, that this development should only proceed in a manner that ensures that, if we have to lose the Green Belt, then we need to ensure that homes are built to meet local needs… Then PLEASE make your feelings known and contribute to our crowdfunding page.”
A crowdfunding page has been set up at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-our-green-belt-coventry/
You can also post a cheque, made out to CPRE Warwickshire, to CPRE, 41a Smith St, Warwick, CV34 4JA. If you give an address or email they will send a Gift Aid form. Mark your cheque for ‘Judicial Review’.
“We need to raise £13,000 by 10am on 7 August 21, but this could rise to £50,000 to complete the case. All donations, small or large, will really help. Please send this on to anyone else who may feel as passionately as we do.”
The campaigners have clarified that the judicial review is for the Hallam Land application for 2400 homes at Eastern Green. However, if it succeeds, it will help other cases, all round the city.
The legal case argues that the Officer’s Report on the planning application was significantly misleading, and the Council erred in law, because the Council granted the Permission with no condition controlling the housing mix. The Planning Committee was significantly misled as they were told at the meeting that the Interested Parties had assessed the cumulative effect of development outside the boundaries of the Coventry Local Plan (2016) (“CLP”) when assessing the highways impact of the Development
In relation to the chances of raising the necessary funding, campaigners state “More than 20,000 people have signed our petitions. If they all gave just £10, it would raise £200,000 which gives you an idea of what can be possible. The fundraising has started well.”
Financial pledges will only be collected if and when the initial target of £13,000 is met by 10 AM on 7 Aug 2021. As of 27th July a total of £12,630 had been raised via the website. The money will go to the Campaign to Protect Rural England Warwickshire Branch who are bringing the case. They are a long established local Charity reg 1092486, with offices in Warwick.
https://www.coventrygreenbelt.org – Keep Our Green Belt Green, [KOGG]
https://www.cprewarwickshire.org.uk – CPRE Warwickshire