City council threatened with legal challenge over permission for 2,400 homes on former Green Belt land

A charity has threatened Coventry City Council with a judicial review challenge over its grant of planning permission for a 2,400-home development at Eastern Green.

CPRE Warwickshire also warned that it plans subsequent legal action over other planning permissions granted by the council for schemes at covering at Kings Hill, Westwood Heath, Keresley, Allesley, and Cromwell Lane.

The charity claimed the council had taken the land out of the Green Belt and allocated it for housing, “on the basis of unreliable population figures”. It argued that there was enough brownfield left in Coventry for another 10 years, at current growth rates.

So far it has raised £7,065 via Crowd Justice towards a £13,000 target needed by 7 August.

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CPRE Warwickshire said: “This initial case will challenge the application for 2,400 homes at Eastern Green, because it happened to receive planning permission first. Unfortunately in planning law, each site will have to be challenged separately, but we anticipate that we may achieve a domino effect by challenging common elements of the plans, such as traffic. If we succeed here, it may well assist following cases.”

It added: “A lot of local people care about Green Belt, including 20,000 who have signed Green Belt petitions. Together, we are stronger and we can overturn the crazy plans and save our precious Green Belt.”

Cllr David Welsh, Coventry’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “I’ve said before that I want to encourage and respect the rights of local people to be able to challenge decisions on planning and new developments.

“We are aware of concerns about the planning permission given to new homes in the Eastern Green area of the city but cannot comment further on it at this stage.

“What I can say is that it’s the government who set out the ground rules for planning and simply put this has shaped our Local Plan. The reality is that the government are proposing cities like Coventry to absorb even more housing - which means an annual figure of 2,300 new homes almost double our current target.

“The ONS have yet to report on the root or scale of the issue identified in the national population projection by the UKSA, as soon as these are received we will better understand what impact, if any, this will have”

He added “In Coventry, 92% of new developments since 2011 have been on Brownfield Sites - which is much higher than many other towns and cities. So, we are doing everything we can to enable people to have good homes in the city.” We’ll be reviewing the city’s Local Plan in December 2022 at a time when the most up-to-date census information is available.”