Plans for 444 homes on former Coventry green belt site condemned by West Midlands mayor

West Midlands mayor Andy Street has slammed plans for 444 homes on a site near Coventry, describing the proposed development as an "attack on the green belt", despite the site’s allocation for housing in the city’s local plan.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street
West Midlands mayor Andy Street

Housebuilder David Wilson Homes submitted plans in March for the homes on a site at Bennetts Road in Keresley, which was removed from the green belt by the Labour-controlled authority as part of the 2017 Coventry local plan.

The application site is is allocated for residential development as part of the 3,100-home Keresley sustainable urban extension, one of two urban extensions planned on land removed from the green belt.

Coventry Council's local plan identifies an objectively-assessed need in the city of 42,400 units and includes an overall housing target of 25,372 homes.

According to the plan, 27 per cent of housing supply is expected to be delivered on formerly green belt land over the plan period from 2011 to 2031.

Following examination of the plan, an inspector described the level of potentially unmet housing need in Coventry as "exceptional”.

But in a Twitter post, Conservative mayor Street said: “I will be objecting to this plan and others that come in for greenbelt land in Keresley. 

“It’s more important than ever [that] we stick to our brownfield-first approach, and I also believe the population figures behind this attack on the green belt are flawed.”

The application has also been criticised by Gary Ridley, leader of the Coventry Conservative Group, who said on Twitter: “With the current uncertainty, now is the time to think again about greenbelt.”

Coventry City Council did not immediately respond to Planning's request for comment.

In February, Street launched an eight-point pledge to fight green belt development in the Black Country.

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