MORE detailed plans on transforming some of the borough’s last remaining countryside into a housing estate have been unveiled.
As reported in the News, a planning application has been submitted to build up to 180 homes on land at Astley Lane, in Bedworth.
Plans to build in the Woodlands in the 80s were some of the most fiercely fought in the borough’s most recent history, with thousands of people signing a petition to preserve the land.
The latest application’s supporting documents have now been revealed to the public, giving further information about the proposals to build homes on the Woodlands Estate.
A design and access statement describes the overall concept of the development as being: “To provide an area of residential development to provide a local increase in homes with associated new vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access; public open space (POS); and associated wildlife habitat.
“This is to be set within an overarching framework of almost wholly retained and enhanced existing hedgerows, trees and woodland to retain key wildlife habitat and screening, particularly in regard to views from Astley Lane and the countryside to the west and south west of the site.”
The application features up to 180 homes – 25 per cent of which would be affordable – and will be made with similar materials of houses in the surrounding area.
The primary access to the site is proposed from a new ‘T’ junction off Astley Lane.
When referring to public transport, the design and access statement adds: “Stagecoach service 55 and service 57 are the main bus routes serving the local area surrounding the site.
“These services provide a realistic opportunity for future residents to undertake work, retail, leisure and other journeys to Bedworth, Coventry and Nuneaton.”
Part of the site lies within the Environment Agency’s Flood Zones 2 and 3, however the proposed built development and surface water attenuation areas are located outside of these areas.
The application’s statement of community involvement says that a public exhibition was held at Bedworth Heath Community Centre on December 11.
Around 70 people went along to the event, with just 25 per cent of these filling in a feedback form.
A number of residents expressed the view that they would not like to see any new housing and objected for reasons including loss of views, loss of wildlife and green space and the impact during the construction period.
Highways issues and flooding concerns were also raised as part of the feedback.
Analysing the response, the statement of community involvement says: “The low response rate would indicate that there is not a high level of either objection or support for development of the site.”
The Bedworth Woodlands was part of the Greenbelt until 1982 when it was removed to meet development needs.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council reaffirmed their commitment to return the countryside buffer between Nuneaton and Bedworth to Greenbelt in 2012, but this has never come to fruition.
It is not yet known if the same campaigners who launched the battle against developing the site in the 80s will once again fight to save the cherished land.
The application details can be viewed by visiting the planning section of the council website http://www.nuneatonandbed worth.gov.uk/ and searching for application reference 033230.
It is expected that a consultation giving residents the chance to comment on the proposals will soon launched by the local authority.
A target decision date has been given as April 9.