CANNON PARK NEWS
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One, submitted by the University of Warwick which is seeking approval for major building projects on campus over the next 10 years and is covered by the Editorial Comment on this website. The committee meets at the Council House, at 2pm on November 15, to decide on this application. The closing date for objection to these plans has passed*. However members of the public may attend the meeting (although are not permitted to address the committee unless it has been previously agreed). Members of the Cannon Park Community Association will meet on the steps of the main entrance in Earl Street at 1.30pm. You are welcome to join them.
Details of application:
The second planning proposal is completely separate from the above, although it concerns student accommodation. It has been made by the owners of the Cannon Park Shopping centre who are seeking permission to build an 800-student accommodation complex and multi-storey carpark on land off De Montfort Way presently used as carparking and spinney. The committee will meet on December 13 at 2pm to decide on this application. The period for public consultation* has closed but, again, the public may attend the meeting.
Details of this application: http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=798432
*although the public consultation period may have elapsed, late comments/objections may still be made up until the committee meeting through the comments section on the application.
From our Correspondent
Posted 12 November 2018
Comments can be made online using the following link: http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=798432
Mary-Anne Jones, Case Officer
Planning Planning Department
Coventry City Council
PO Box 15
The CPCA views of this planning application are summarised in three key points:
1. Given the contours of the land, the structure is too high, and its size and design are out of keeping with the character of the area.
2. With 808 accommodation units, the sheer number of residents will create a density of occupation that is inappropriate for the social balance of the area.
3. The Spinney, with Shultern Lane, is a healthy and rich mixed woodland area showing significant regeneration. Any reduction in the current area of the Spinney and consequent loss of valuable trees in this important natural environment is not acceptable; a thorough independent environmental assessment is vital.
Posted 11 October 2018
The following link accesses the application, which has reference number FUL/2018/2651 http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=798432
The last of the 48 items listed under Images, “Planning Statement” is of particular relevance for review.
The CPCA committee is meeting to discuss the application and will update residents on their deliberations later next week. The period for public consultation, and commenting on the application, ends on Friday 19th October, 2018.
Posted 3 October 2018
The news is a major breakthrough for campaigners who have long argued that the uni should take responsibility for the problems it generates.
After sustained lobbying by the Cannon Park Community Association, residents’ petitions and forceful arguments from a local highways expert, it has listened. The university’s own traffic consultants have agreed an action plan and promised funding if the City Council gives the green light.
*Building a zebra crossing on Cannon Hill Road for children attending Cannon Park School. A better waiting area at the crossing and improved pedestrian access to the school. *Making the area a 20mph zone, with gateway features.
*Putting in speed cushions (road humps) which would force cars to slow down.
And there is further good news with the uni’s backing for a ban on heavy lorries (over 7.5 tonne) using Cannon HIll Road and a pledge to fund measures to rid the area of nuisance parkers who use the road and adjoining streets as a free car park.
A spokesman for the uni’s consultants said: “We have proposed a 7.5 tonne weight limit.
“(The Council) may require that we identify that there is an issue with HGVs rat running along Cannon Hill Road. In that circumstance we would probably need to carry out a survey. “We will need to agree the technical aspects and the budget with the Council and will then need to consult with residents.
“The layout of Cannon Hill Road, the presence of the school and the additional traffic identified means that there is a reasonable basis for providing traffic calming at this location.” Regarding parking problems created by uni staff and students, including at the laybys on Cannon Hill Road and outside houses in surrounding streets, he said the uni would pay for residents’ parking zones over a five -year period.
He added: “It is the University’s intention to provide the Council with a sum of money to address resident parking issues as and when they arise on residential roads surrounding the University as a result of staff/student commutes to the University or students leaving cars on local roads when they are resident within the campus residential accommodation.
“It is expected that, in agreement with the Council, surveys will be carried out to understand the scale of the problem and ensure that any scheme is tailored to the needs of the residents.” The news was welcomed by local resident and chartered surveyor Dave Goodwin, who played a leading role in convincing the university of the need to act.
“Now, after lobbying the uni about the roads’ increasing use as a rat-runs, since failed A45 junction improvements and uni Gibbet Hill Road vehicle restrictions, the funds needed have been found.
From our correspondent
Posted 27 October 2018
Using the online services you can now:
* Search for advice tailored to any situation you might be facing using the search bar..
* Get help by talking to an adviser on live chat between 8am-midnight..
* Report non-emergency crime online using live chat..
* Track the progress of your case..
You can also self-report burglary, theft, robbery and criminal damage. The Police encourage you to use this service if it is not a 999 emergency. Your case will be receive the same level of service as if you were to phone West Midlands Police..
Go to the West Midlands Police website
From our correspondent.
Posted 22 October 2018
Coventry's two universities continue to expand and the need for student accommodation is not only changing the skyline but destroying settled communities by turning family housing into student residences. Surely a cap should now be put on their proposed expansion? Even treasured green areas are threatened by the endless march of developers seeking to make millions by providing yet more student accommodation.
This car park has trees on and around it and adjoins ancient Shultern Lane which is used and enjoyed daily by walkers and cyclists
This planned development will loom over the RC church and Shultern Lane with its ancient trees and hedgerows and necessitate the removal of 80 per cent of the Shultern Lane Spinney which is full of wild life and has many notable trees. It is totally out of character in a semi rural setting and will effectively turn this area into an expansion of the Warwick University campus. On the Cannon Park Estate over 40 per cent of all housing is now student occupied. Older home owners are feeling isolated and uncomfortable. The area has lovely green spaces and a good primary school but houses are snapped up by developers before young families can buy them. The community is dying.
Enough is enough and our Planning Department should call an end to such development and CCC should now consult with the Universities and agree a date to place a cap on numbers of students accepted for study Communities really do matter and if this seemingly endless expansion continues many in Coventry will simply cease to exist.
Posted 24 October 2018
Early October is normally a time of birthday joy for a frail old lady now in the autumn of her life at 87.
Mrs Kaur spent much of this year in hospital battling life-threatening heart and kidney diseases.
She nearly didn’t make it. At one point doctors thought she had just days to live.
But she is a fighter and was discharged into the care and love of her daughter’s home in Cannon Hill Road, Coventry, to start her recuperation. There was still much to celebrate.
That hard-earned reprieve was short-lived, shattered along with a kitchen window as heartless thugs smashed in and attacked her while she was in the bathroom.
Demanding to know ‘where is the gold?’ they dragged the defenceless widow across the hallway, stuffing her headscarf into her mouth to muffle her screams.
“Mum has difficulty breathing because of her illness,” her daughter said:
“She told me that was the moment she thought was going to die and would never see us again.” Her two attackers were remorseless.
Ironically, the bangle, known as a kara, is a traditional Sikh bracelet which carries a symbol denoting unity.
Mrs Kaur’s was not gold and comparatively worthless in monetary terms. But she is a spiritual woman, attends temple devotedly and puts a high personal value on it.
Like many of Coventry’s Sikh community, she came here with her husband from the Indian Punjab in the early 1950s to forge a better life.
The hard-working couple settled in a modest home the Stoney Stanton Road area of the city where they raised six children.
“We are from a working class background,” said the daughter.
“Dad worked in a foundry at Alfred Herbert's, Sterling Metals and at the old Cherry Orchard brickworks in Kenilworth. He never owned a car and used his bicycle to get everywhere.”
Mrs Kaur also worked in factories, mainly employed in the sewing trade.
Her husband died 10 years ago but she remained defiantly independent in her own home until her illness worsened this year. She was hospitalised on five occasions including most of May and lengthy periods in late summer.
“We very nearly lost her,” said her daughter.
She and he husband wanted her to move permanently into their detached home and get her back on her feet, hoping that she would soon be able to visit the temple again and resume her yoga classes.
“Mum is very well-liked and loved,” said her daughter. “So many people call her mum I often joke with her and say ‘Just how many children have you got?’ “
At this time of year, Mrs Kaur’s delicate hands would normally be occupied knitting jumpers for her beloved grandchildren for Christmas.
But that looks unlikely this year given the injuries inflicted by the two robbers.
The pair, who were masked during the raid, may have had two accomplices, one of whom drove a white Mercedes to drop off one of the robbers at the junction of Cannon Hill Road and The Shrubberies shortly before the raid.
A fourth member of the gang was believed to be behind the wheel of a getaway car, described as a dark coloured VW Golf, which raced off towards the Kenilworth Road.
The gang targeted the house hoping for a haul of “Indian gold” jewellery, but they also stole car keys, intending to return later when the vehicles were on the drive.
They struck in broad daylight on Saturday, September 22, between 11.10am and 12.20 pm.
Despite her ordeal Mrs Kaur, though bloodied and distressed, had managed to crawl to the phone and was trying to raise the alarm.
Her daughter and a carer arrived home and found her propped against a wall still holding the phone and yelling that the robbers were upstairs.
“I was absolutely terrified,” said her daughter. “I was with my children and shocked at the sight of my mum covered in blood.
“But she had reacted very calmly, much more together than I was. She had pleaded with them to leave and had even pretended my husband was home by shouting out to him.”
Realising the robbers must have fled, the daughter phoned the police. They converged on the house while she was still giving details.
She said: “My mum could easily have had a heart attack and died of shock. What sort of men are they that could treat an elderly woman like that?
“My mum always thought the best of everyone but these thugs could have killed her for the sake a handful of inexpensive jewelry.”
On Wednesday, her birthday, Mrs Kaur’s quiet indomitable spirit shone through the dark shadow cast by the robbery.
Her injured hand still gives her pain but she manages her porridge breakfast one-handed and finds added sustenance in admiring the bounty of bouquets and cards that crowd the kitchen table.
Police have appealed for the public’s help in tracking down Mrs Kaur’s attackers
CCTV images of a man who they want to question in connection with the robbery have been released (see below)
The break in and brutal treatment of a helpless elderly lady occurred between 11.10 am and 12.20 pm on Saturday morning, September 22.
A police spokesman “Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 giving crime number 20CV/217166H/18.”
From our Correspondent
Posted 9 October 2018
(This is an expanded version of the previous article entitled "Elderly woman assaulted during Cannon Hill Road break-in")
For more than seven years owner Jin Bal’s radiant smile has welcomed hungry customers to the bastion of traditional British grub, where bangers and bacon reign supreme.
But on Friday (July 20) the sizzling stopped. Jin’s lease had run out and the new owners of the shopping centre hadn’t offered her another tenure.
Jin, a mother of three who lives in Cannon Park, said:”We knew this day would come and it’s very sad but there’s also a sense of relief. “I an going to miss my wonderful staff and of course all the tremendous customers who have supported us down the years. It’s such a shame.” She now plans to take a long holiday, spend more time with her family and plan another business venture.
She hasn’t ruled out a return to the centre and will be keeping in touch with owners McAleer & Rushe to see if a unit becomes available.
It’s understood the owners will make one larger unit from Jin’s, an adjoining empty shop and JJ Barbers, which is moving further into the centre, close to a sports outlet.
There has been speculation that it will become a cafe-restaurant specialising in “street food” aimed at the student market from nearby Warwick University.
McAleer & Rushe have recently announced they want to build student accommodation on the centre’s car park off De Montfort Way. They have invited local residents to hear about the proposals from 3pm till 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 25 at Unit 11, which is the unit next to Jin’s.
Posted 23 July 2018
Warwick District Council planning Committee (WDC) voted by 6 to 4, with two abstentions, to give the go-ahead to the “Garden Village.”
Although the site comes under WDC it is on Coventry’s doorstep, between Burton Green and Warwick University, and is accessed by the notoriously congested Westwood Heath Road near its junction with Bockendon Road.
Coventry Councillor David Skinner (Tory, Westwood Heath) appealed to the WDC planning committee to reject the proposal but his plea fell on deaf ears.
Coventry City Council, which is ruled by a Labour majority, made no official objections.
Both authorities will benefit from “106 money” - sums that are paid for by the developer, in this case Crest Nicholson, in exchange for its approval.
These amounts will include.
* £560,750 towards cycle and junction improvements to the highway network in the Coventry City Council administrative boundary,
* £969,250 towards improvements to the highway network in the Warwick District Council administrative boundary;
*£21,540 towards improvements to public rights of way within a 1.5 mile radius of the development site (including e.g. upgrading stiles to gates, bridge improvements and path surface improvements);
* a contribution of £348,072 towards public open space (amount to be confirmed by the Open Space team);
* a contribution of £1,344,025 towards primary education; £1,191,075 towards secondary education; £272,760 towards Post-16 education; £58,095 towards primary special education needs; £88,200 towards secondary special education needs; £354,079 towards indoor sports facilities; £428,200 towards primary medical care; a contribution of £489,111 towards acute and community healthcare.
One of the least likely awards is a contribution of £93,771 towards skylark mitigation.
Posted 21 June 2018
Within hours of its launch, 100 people had already put their name to an appeal to the city council to take action to safeguard pupils having to cross Cannon Hill Road near a sharp bend. The danger point has been without ‘lollipop’ wardens for many years and has no pedestrian crossing, while traffic using the road to short-cut to the University of Warwick has spiralled.
Now the school leaders, parents and residents are united in calling for a permanent solution to safeguard lives. The petition going before councillors says: “We call upon the council to provide a permanent crossing across Cannon Hill Road (CHR) to enable pedestrians and children attending Cannon Park School safe passage. “We also call upon the council to implement the 20 MPH speed limit on CHR, which Coventry City Council had agreed to previously, incorporating physical traffic calming measures and a 7 tonne vehicle weight restriction.
Volunteers including parents and members of the Cannon Park Community Association are out and about knocking on doors and gathering signatures. But the petition, headed Cannon Hill Road Speed Restriction and Safe Crossing, can be ‘signed’ online on the Coventry City Council petitions page.
The organisers are calling on residents to tell their neighbours about the petition, and by gathering hundreds of signatures force the city council to take notice. “We want the council to help make this a better and safer place for children, other pedestrians, and the residents who live along Cannon HIll Road," said one campaigner.
The demand comes as police pledge to continue community Speedwatch initiatives along the road. Last Thursday, a Neighbourhood Police Team was out in force, stopping speeding drivers and issuing notices. See full report below.
Posted 22 May 2018
Drivers recorded breaking the 30mph limit were flagged down and either given a stern warning or issued with tickets that could lead to fines, driver awareness scheme or licence endorsements.
The swoop follows a series of roadside Speedwatch initiatives,organised by the local residents and supported by our neighbourhood policing team.
That began this week (May 17) when eight officers, supported by readings from a highly accurate speed camera, set up by the bridge on Cannon Hill Road, clocking speeds and directing offenders into Cannon Park Road where they were interviewed.
He added that the Speedwatch exercises seemed to be working as there was a marked drop in the number of speeders on the road since the first initiative on March 7. But he added that the Neighbourhood Police team would be monitoring the situation in Cannon Hill Road and was prepared to mount a further Speedwatch programme.
*The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence. You could be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of 3 years.
Posted 22 May 2018
The £8m sale of 24 homes is a signal that the Houses in Multiple Occupation gravy train railroading through Coventry may be running out of steam.
A spokeswoman for the university said: “Students nowadays are looking for more modern accommodation that better suits their needs.
“We feel the time is now right to sell these houses as there is no longer so much demand for these types of properties.”
The news will be welcomed across Coventry by residents who have seen their communities eroded by “studentification.”
The hope will be that the at least some of the 24 houses being sold - in Earlsdon, Spon End and Hillfields - will be bought by families and revert back to traditional homes. Realistically, the ones with up to 10 bedrooms will probably be bought by other landlords attracted by the potential of more than £1,000 a week in rents, free of council tax or business rates
But Coventry Uni’s decision to sell indicates they will be chasing a diminishing market of customers
. Its spokeswoman added: “The property market has changed significantly in the 25 years since we bought these houses.
“We recently opened our first university-owned purpose-built accommodation for 14 years, The Cycle Works, which provides housing for about 350 students, and we are moving our focus away from housing our students in residential areas.
“The rental agreements on these homes are due to expire this summer. All students affected have been contacted about the sale of the properties, informed of their options and given support to find accommodation elsewhere, if they need it.”
In the south of Coventry, particularly around Cannon Park, the hope will be that the University of Warwick will follow suit and stop its support of HiMOs.
7 May 2018
Three suggested cycle routes have been submitted to the council with the aim of encouraging more people to cycle in safety to the uni and help ease the traffic problems. The proposed routes all leave the campus at the new roundabout on Lynchgate Road and fan out to join the existing cycle paths along the A45. The routes would cost little to construct, and need suitable signing.
One existing signposted route - from the uni to Kenilworth Road via de Montfort Way/Cannon Hill Road - is used very rarely and it’s suggested it should be discontinued.
Mike Thomas, a campaigner for safer cycling, said the existing marked routes spreading from the campus are at best half-hearted. Previous work to widen footpaths hadn’t been carried through and can bring bike riders into conflict with pedestrians where they narrow. He points out that tens of millions of pounds will be spent on building a new road into the university from the A46 near Stoneleigh but not a penny is being earmarked for cycle routes.
He said: “The university, Westwood business park and the Shopping Centre may bring jobs but they also bring huge traffic problems. “A safe network of cycle paths spreading out from the campus could help ease that congestion, and improve the lives of students and visitors and benefit residents too. “Looking at the opportunities to get from the Lynchgate Road campus exit to the residential areas on the southern side of the city it would take very little effort and expenditure to develop three routes.
“A real difference can be made by a relatively small amount spent on widening a footpath, and optimising what we already have.” Mr Thomas, of Cannon Hill Road, is a ranger for Sustrans, a national volunteer organisation that works to improve cyclepath networks.
ROUTE 1 This route would provide access to the South-East Coventry districts of Stivichall, Cheylesmore, Finham and east Earlsdon. The route would follow Lynchgate Road, Tesco’s car-park, Ivy Farm Lane, Cannocks Lane, Hilary Rd, Sefton Rd, Turbury Ave and onto the A45 cycle path and beyond.
ROUTE 2 This route would provide access to Canley, West Earlsdon, Chapelfields, Whoberley, Coundon and the City Centre. The route would follow Lynchgate Road northwards, Sir Henry Parkes Road, Canley Crossing, Canley Road and onto the existing cycle path along Hearsall Lane.
ROUTE 3 This route would provide access to the West and South-West districts of Coventry including Eastern Green, Allesley, and Tile Hill. The route would follow Lynchgate Road as Route 2 then turn westwards on the new path along Charter Ave, Moat House Lane, and then along an existing path which could be widened over Canley Brook and north-east as far as the existing A45 cycle path.
Posted 23 April 2018
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On November 15, Coventry’s Planning Committee will consider an application by Warwick University for a major expansion plan covering the next 10 years
The Cannon Park Community Association (CPCA) has no strong objection to additional buildings, although it notes that only one of the nine projects is for campus accommodation, falling far short of what’s needed to stem the tide of “studentification” eroding family housing stock.
But even more alarming is the proposal to add 1030 further campus car parking spaces from early 2019.
Or put another way, more than a 1000 more cars a day will be funnelled through an area which is already hopelessly congested and increasingly dangerous.
The concerns for the local area and the implications for most of south Coventry have been made to the uni by CPCA, residents and councillors, but have been largely ignored. It is true that the uni has (as can be read elsewhere on this site) offered to pay for traffic calming measures in the Cannon Hill Road area.
That’s been given an enthusiastic welcome by residents and is a strong sign that the uni is at long last acknowledging it doesn’t exist in a bubble.
*Where are the ideas for major park and ride initiatives that could cut traffic coming in to the area (the uni manages to operate just such an initiative from Stoneleigh Park when it has an open day for intending students and families)?
*What progress is there on the much talked about relief road coming off the A46 to access the uni south of Gibbet Hill ?
*Why is there no plan for exploiting transport links offered by the newly-opened Kenilworth rail station, as proposed by the Green Party. And why is little more than lip-service paid to developing credible cycle routes.
*And most crucially, why has the uni’s car-share initiative failed so dismally when other universities have achieved outstanding results? The uni’s own traffic experts have confirmed that all major road junctions in the locality are at, or over, capacity. Saturated to the point of mass congestion at times.
Some 67 percent of Warwick University’s current traffic are single occupancy cars and has been so for the past ten years. This is a luxury for staff but is a burden for residents.
Other leading universities around the country, starting from the same figure, have reduced their single occupancy staff cars to 30 and 35 percent using effective staff car-share schemes. Warwick University has been asked how many of its 6300 staff (nearly half of whom live outside Coventry, particularly in the Warwick/Leamington area) car-share, but have declined to reply. It appears most staff regularly decline to participate.
If Warwick did manage car-sharing as effectively as other universities it would need 2000 fewer car parking spaces now and not 1030 more. This could mean a difference of 6000 fewer car journeys on our local roads each weekday. Imagine the difference that would make not just to residents of surrounding roads but to major feeder roads like the A45, A46, Kenilworth and Stoneleigh Roads.
Sadly, the Council’s track record where the university is concerned suggests it will give it the green light to increase the traffic burden and approve the plans. But maybe not if enough people object. Resident-power achieved a small victory in getting agreement for traffic calming in Cannon Hill Road. Now we need to shout even louder to get the council to show the red light.
*You could also show the strength of opposition by attending the planning meeting, which is being held at the Council House, at 2pm on November 15. Members of the Cannon Park Community Association will meet on the steps of the main entrance in Earl Street at 1.30pm. Please join them.
Posted 3 November 2018