Council ‘leak’ angers Gateway campaigners
SUSPICIONS have been aroused that council officials have already decided to approve plans for a major development around Coventry Airport, following the accidental publication of a document.
Campaigners against an application for a network of highways on green belt land near the Baginton-based airport are furious after spotting a paper on Warwick District Council’s website in which planning officers appear recommend that the plan should be approved - despite the fact that the period for people to submit their views on the proposal has not yet ended.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Development Partnership, a joint venture between the airport’s owners Rigby Family Holdings and Roxhill Properties, put forward the proposal in September, stating that the highways would support a technology and distribution park - which they say will create 14,000 jobs.
Stoneleigh villager Diane Francis, who read the document - which was published on and then removed from the council’s website last Thursday - said: “A lot of people are very concerned. Coventry City Council is obviously going to say yes to this because it will get a lot of money. It seems as if Warwick District Council feels that it has got to say yes because Coventry is going to.
“Officials are saying that it should be approved - but we are supposed to have until November 23 to submit our views. It’s just awful.”
Rod Wheat, who also lives in Stoneleigh and is among campaigners from villages around the site who are against the proposal, said: “I have asked the council if there is another report that recommends that the proposal is refused. If not, the only conclusion you can reach is that they have already decided what to do, which would be pretty horrendous.”
Philip Clarke, senior projects co-ordinator at Warwick District Council; “The report was a very early draft and the text within the recommendation section was standard text in the template that was used. This has no bearing on the council’s assessment of the application, which will not be completed until at least late November, when a full report is scheduled to be completed for the committee meeting on December 18. Only then will the recommendation be decided.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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