PLANS to build 2,500 homes and two schools on green belt land near Kenilworth have been given the green light.
Despite objections from five town and parish councils, along with more than 100 residents, Warwick District Council planning committee gave the go ahead for the development which will be the size of around 200 football pitches on the site on Kings Hill Lane off Stoneleigh Road.
The site, known as Kings Hill Park, has eventually been earmarked for some 4,000 homes to take Coventry’s unmet housing need.
Concerns had been raised by Historic England about the impact the development would have on an ancient monument – a buried, deserted medieval village adjacent to the site. They said despite no homes being built there it would result in ‘harm to its significance’.
Warwickshire County Council’s Archaeology department believes the site could hold prehistoric, Roman or Anglo Saxon remains and recommended further investigative work be undertaken.
Kenilworth Town Council also objected to the application over concerns about vehicle access, flooding from Finham Brook and loss of green belt.
A spokeswoman said: “Members raised major concerns about the effect of construction traffic damage to infrastructure and the environment. This has regard to the amount of simultaneous development due to take place, including HS2.
“Members very much regret the loss of green belt in this very narrow corridor between Kenilworth and Coventry. They appreciate this is to hold overspill from Coventry but have yet to see any signs that Coventry requires overspill.”
A ‘Save Our Green Belt’ petition calling for Coventry to review its local plan – which shapes the future of the city until 2031 – was signed by more than 4,000 people.
Many objections said the huge development was flawed as it did not adequately take into account three other major developments in the area – Gateway South, HS2 and a new technology park.
But the council approved the application for 2,500 new homes – including 1,000 affordable properties – a primary and secondary school, shops, leisure facilities and open space.
It will now be considered by Coventry City Council’s planning committee on Thursday December 19.
A spokesman for developers Lioncourt Ltd said: “The proposed development will create housing choice, increased educational opportunities, community facilities and new amenity spaces for the existing and new community while assisting in delivering district required infrastructure and housing and improving public access across the site and to the wider pedestrian network.”