18th Jan, 2021

Medieval village in danger as huge 2,500-home Kings Hill proposal goes to planners

Catherine Vonledebur 27th Nov, 2019 Updated: 27th Nov, 2019

A DESERTED medieval village, three Grade II listed buildings and an ancient woodland are among concerns in planning proposals to build 2,500 houses and two schools on Green Belt between Coventry and Kenilworth.

Warwick District Council’s planning committee has been recommended by its officers to grant outline planning permission for the controversial application for Kings Hill Lane, off Stoneleigh Road, on December 3.

Warwickshire County Council’s Archaeology department says the site could contain prehistoric, Roman or Anglo Saxon remains, which are as yet “unknown”.

Coventry City Council’s planning committee will also consider the application – for the section of the proposed development site which sits within the city boundary – on December 19.

The plans includes 2,500 houses, including 1,000 affordable homes, a primary and secondary school, plus sports facilities.

A total of 4,000 houses have been allocated for the entire former site, as part of Warwick District Council’s Local Plan. It is designed to help meet housing targets in Coventry, in addition to Warwickshire – for 42,400 homes in and around the city by 2031.

Numerous objections have been received from five town and parish councils and two ward councillors, plus a petition signed by 24 residents in Stoneleigh Road.

A ‘Save Our Green Belt’ petition calling for Coventry to review its Local Plan has so far been signed by more than 4,000 people.

Many objections to Warwick District Council state the huge development plan is flawed as it does not adequately take into account three other major developments in the area: Gateway South, HS2 and development of a new technology park.

Concerns have been raised by environmentalists, archaeologists and national watchdog Historic England over the “significant” impact on a Scheduled Ancient Monument – a deserted medieval village adjacent to Kings Hill Lane – two Grade II listed farmhouses and barn, ancient woodland Wainbody Wood and Kenilworth Road Conservation Area.

It is recommended that an archaeological evaluation will be needed on the site of the medieval village.

Historic England also recommends a landscape management plan.

There are fears traffic congestion, already at a standstill at peak times, will be further exacerbated.

Residents are concerned about traffic around Green Lane in Finham, Coventry, and around the already congested Stoneleigh Road between the exhibition centre in Stoneleigh and the University of Warwick.

Objectors feel the problem will not adequately be addressed by a proposed major redevelopment of the A46 Stoneleigh traffic island and a proposed new Green Lane roundabout.

Some say there should be no housing development at Kings Hill until a delayed proposed relief road from the A46 island to Westwood Heath is completed. Another local relief road is formally requested for Stoneleigh by its parish council.

Points raised in 128 letters of objection by members of the public also include concerns over flooding and drainage, air pollution, landscaping and the visual impact of the properties.

Warwickshire ecologists have called for an ecological and landscaping scheme, tree and hedgerow protection, protection of ancient woodland, an ecological management plan (CEMP) for bats and great crested newts, and a bat survey.

The Woodland Trust has requested a 100metre buffer zone around the ancient woods.

In a comprehensive ‘masterplan’ the council has also recommended a flood risk assessment, sustainable drainage design, railway line risk assessment, detailed road infrastructure plans, protected walking and cycle routes and a Finham Brook protection scheme.

The petition calling for Coventry to review its Local Plan has so far been signed by 3,336 people – you.38degrees.

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