The council is set to give itself permission to build almost 500 homes on an important piece of green land in the city.
Coventry City Council identified a 42-acre site at Browns Lane in Coundon to build 475 homes on as part of its Local Plan – a document which sets out where regeneration can take place in the city in the future.
It says the move will support vital housing growth in the city, and ensure that local people have an appropriate choice of housing as 25 per cent of the homes will be affordable.
As the council plans to sell off the site to a developer, this would also give the authority extra cash to put into its coffers for future financial years.
But Cllr Gary Ridley – leader of the Conservative opposition – says the site is partly within the Coundon Wedge, an attractive stretch of countryside on the north-western outskirts of Coventry.
Green belt row
Cllr Ridley said: “John Mutton, when he became leader back in 2010, said ‘We’re not going to build on any greenbelt’.
“We’ve had this pledge from the Labour party time and time again.
“This council is planning a load of homes on this site which will then make money for the council. This is the decision they are making, and they are going to make a fortune despite their promises to residents.”
But leader of the council George Duggins hit back, saying the Browns Lane site had not been greenbelt since around 2001.
The land was originally reserved in part for the expansion of the Jaguar car works.
He said: “This particular proposal was contained in the Local Plan which was adopted by the council on December 15 last year.
“This is not something which has been dreamt up. This has been identified within the Local Plan, this has been consulted on widely and has also been subjected to extensive scrutiny from inspectors.
“I don’t believe that we are going back on anything we have said.
“What we are interested in is providing homes for people in Coventy.
“This piece of land was put out of the greenbelt some years ago, going back to around 2001.”
The council owns the 42-acre site at Browns Lane.
The Cabinet is being asked to approve necessary studies on the land and give permission for an outline planning application to be submitted.
If that is granted, the council will market the site and try to sell it on to a developer.
But the authority has “anticipated” that it will be able to develop the site independently if necessary.
Members of the Cabinet are also being asked for permission for the council to begin entering into negotiations with adjoining land owners to allow a more comprehensive development.
This would see the development spread over 45 acres instead of 42.
The authority is also making contingency plans to go ahead with developing its own land if an agreement cannot be reached.
An outline planning application detailing the number of homes and the layout of the site is expected to be submitted sometime next year.
The new homes would be integrated into existing communities and infrastructure.
Source: Coventry Telegraph