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Friday 26 February 2016

New Proposal for 435-600 Homes at Westwood Heath

Update (26th February):
This report (covering all sites around Kenilworth) in the Kenilworth Weekly News:

Update (25th February): At the meeting of Warwick District Council on the 24 February 2016 the Council approved the proposed modifications to the Local Plan (as detailed below). It was agreed to undertake consultation on the modifications. Any concerns relating to the unsoundness and legal compliance of the proposed modifications, or seeking revisions should be made in writing through the formal consultation process, which is scheduled to start at 4.00pm on Friday 11 March 2016 until 4.45pm on Friday 22 April 2016.  Irrespective of any previous E-mails they may have sent, residents may want to participate in the public consultation, to ensure the Inspector is made aware of their concerns. Details of the consultation process and how to comment will be publicised and made available on the Council’s website, in due course, here:

The Coventry Telegraph (18th February) carried a report of new housing proposed, within Burton Green, on the land on the South side of Westwood Heath Road (around Lodge Farm):

The Warwick District Council website gives the details of the proposed modifications to the Local Plan, here:

Warwick District Council will consider the proposed modifications at a Full Council meeting on 24th February. If approved, consultation on the proposed modifications will commence during the week beginning 11th March, for a period of six weeks.

The details which affect Burton Green are outlined below.

The modifications include the provision of 425-600 homes at Westwood Heath, in the area shown hatched in yellow on the map below (H42). The area hatched in grey (S1) is earmarked for additional development in the longer term.

You can click on the map to enlarge it. You may need to click more than once to view the map at its original size:

The document gives these details for site H42 (the yellow area):
" New sites on the edge of Coventry. These sites allow the expansion of the City's Urban area in sustainable locations.  They help to meet housing needs of the City. They also offer opportunities for infrastructure improvements.
36 ha. 50% developable area at 35dph (dwellings per hectare). Total capacity approx. 600 dwellings. Capacity capped at 425 due to constraints imposed by strategic transport network.
Open Space (including allotments, playing fields, play facilities); Health Centre; Local centre and community facilities will be quantified in the context of the development of this allocation and the wider area over the long term; cycleways; bus facilities. 
Retail facilities: a convenience store of no more than 500 square metres gross floorspace. 
Site capacity is limited by the highways network in the area. WCC Strategic Transport study suggests no more than 425 dwellings can be delivered here without the need for a major highway scheme. Adjacent area therefore safeguarded for use beyond the current plan.

Even so, the site will require transport improvements including to the Stoneleigh junction on the A46.  
Current indications outline potential that secondary school places are available in the Coventry catchment area. There will be a requirement for primary school places that may provide the opportunity to rationalise existing small schools in the locality (further investigations will be required to establish the exact strategy). 
Health infrastructure requirements will be assessed as part of ongoing discussions with the Warwickshire and Coventry / Rugby CCGs."

Nowhere (as far as I can see) is the H42 site referred to as being part of the Parish of Burton Green, although it does, at present, lie within Burton Green. The H42 site is referred to as being an extension of the Urban area of Coventry. It is effectively an expansion of the Coventry City boundary. At some future constituency boundary review, it will inevitably be claimed that it 'makes sense' for the people living in this new part of Westwood to become part of Coventry.

The role of Burton Green as a designated 'growth village' within the WDC Local Plan centres wholly on the Burrow Hill Nursery site (site H24). The additional 435 homes at Westwood are, presumably, not considered to be part of Burton Green.

Cromwell Lane Development (Coventry Local Plan)

New building off Cromwell Lane, within the Coventry boundary, which is part of the Coventry Local Plan, is a separate development and is detailed here:

Burrow Hill Nursery Development (WDC Local Plan)

The proposed development of 90 homes at the Burrow Hill Nursery site in Burton Green, designated WDC site H24,  is essentially unchanged. The amendment documents include these comments:
"3.74ha. Some constraints (landscape), but infrastructure requirements reduced — village hall proposed elsewhere. 67% developable area at 35dph. School place planning catered for within the wider Kenilworth solution (Southcrest Farm)."
Southcrest Farm is in Glasshouse Lane, Kenilworth, and is a proposed site for a secondary school, 6th form centre, and possible primary school.

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