Controversial bid for 93 Crackley homes is approved

New houses PPP-140820-132442001
New houses PPP-140820-132442001
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A decision to allow 93 homes to be built on open land between Kenilworth and Coventry has been described as “making a mockery of planning”.

The controversial plan for homes on what is known as the Crackley Triangle was twice rejected by Kenilworth Town Council and by Warwick District Council in August on the grounds that the access road off the narrow section of Common Lane would be too tight.

But at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to their planning officers’ recommendation to pass it on the grounds of meeting housing supply and that the access had been widened.

A furious Cllr Felicity Bunker said: “I’m very angry about it. It’s just so stupid. The access is so bad.

“It seems (the application) just the same as the last one. It makes a mockery of planning. It’s going to cause absolute chaos.”

Vehicles in the area will be controlled by three sets of traffic-sensor controlled lights either side of the railway and the Greenway (the old rail line to Berkswell) bridges and the exit from the development - making it a periodic one-way system.

Up to 14 buses an hour use Common Lane and the Kenilworth Society raised concerns about traffic delays on the route to and from Coventry and the University of Warwick.

Also, there were 32 letters of objection on the grounds that the use of traffic lights will inconvenience road users and cause light and air pollution.

But James Mumby, principal planner with the Pegasus Group, which is acting on behalf of Bloor Homes, said the traffic lights will sense a build-up and adjust control accordingly.

And he added: “If there’s no traffic waiting to come out of the development the traffic light will stay on red.”

“If there is a big queue from one side the traffic light sequence will react to that.

“We’ve demonstrated that it’s safe. Warwickshire County highways are happy with its workings. It’s safe and council members approved it on that basis.

“The road is a pinch-point for large vehicles. It’s unsafe as it exists now and our arrangement will improve the safety of traffic moving along Common Lane.

“It will be a quality development and we are helping to meet the housing needs of Warwick district.”

Cllr Bunker (Con, Park Hill), added: “I can see tailbacks of traffic, especially going up the hill. I still think it’s not a viable proposition and they should have proper access.”

Under new plans the access road meeting Common Lane will be 13.7-metres wide, using land bought from Warwickshire County Council.

The committee report said 40 per cent of the homes “would be required to be affordable”.

Most of the site was taken out of the Green Belt in 2008 after a High Court challenge, but parts of it still remain Green Belt.