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STOP PRESS
STOP PRESS: PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING DECISION FOR THE CANNON PARK CAR PARK REDEVELOPMENT: IT IS APPROVED

At the Coventry City Council Planning Committee meeting held on Thursday 14th February 2019, the Committee voted to approve this application by 5 votes to 1, with one abstention. The planning application was therefore agreed in its entirety by the Committee, as documented in FUL/2018/2651.

Councillor Gary Crooks made a very strong case for the scheme to be scaled down, which would have gone a considerable way to addressing the real concerns of local residents. These concerns had been expressed by the objections in 133 individual letters and a 110 multi-signature letter, that the Council received following the first consultation. A further 91 letters of objection were submitted following the second consultation. These concerns were so ably confirmed at the meeting by Councillor Tim Sawdon, and local residents Dave Goodwin, Pip Pountney and Dave Swanson. All these objections and concerns were discounted.

The first consequence of this redevelopment will be later this year, with the construction of the multi-story car park next to St Joseph the Worker Church, which will be preceded by the provision of temporary car parking. It can be expected that there will be major issues with access to parking and traffic flow from the time this work gets underway.
Street Watch Follow-Up
Sergeant Stuart Randall of the West Midlands Police has sent a notice about Street Watch with information about training sessions to be held at Canley Police Station at the end of January.

Volunteers are needed!

View the notice
Posted 18 January 2019
HiMO licensing
Property Licensing Proposal for HiMOS
Coventry City Council is proposing to introduce two schemes that will place tighter controls on the standards of some private sector landlords and the behaviour of tenants in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HiMOs) in neighbourhoods throughout Coventry.

The Council has agreed to consult on a Selective Licensing Scheme and Additional Licensing of HiMOs (AL) which the local authority hopes will help improve the quality of housing and HiMOs and the levels of anti-social behaviour in some areas including tackling issues like fly-tipping.

A 10-week consultation has been initiated to enable tenants, private landlords, home owning residents, community groups and other stakeholders to have an input on the way the schemes could operate.

Council licensing officers have identified 37 locations (affecting almost 9000 homes) across the city where there could be benefits in running a Selective Licensing Scheme and have gathered evidence suggesting that Additional Licensing is required across the whole of the city.

The 37 locations include Cannon Park Estate, the Cannon Hill Road area to the A45, and the Canley/Charter Road area.

The locations all have more than 20 per cent of houses that are privately rented and also have faced problems including anti-social behaviour (which has not been addressed by landlords), low housing demand, poor property conditions, high levels of crime and deprivation.

Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said that the two schemes would help improve the condition of housing and said that raising the standards of private rented housing would address issues of health and equality whilst also improving the quality of the environment for everyone.

He said: “We are in desperate need of more housing and as part of a whole series of steps we are taking we need to also look at the quality of existing housing stock in the city. “We need to ensure that standards of housing is better in the private housing sector, and we have examples from other towns and cities where licensing schemes have worked.

“The aim of a property licensing scheme is to improve the way that private landlords maintain their property/ies and interact with neighbouring properties. It would also help us to monitor the behaviour of tenants both in the way properties are maintained but also issues that affect neighbours.

“At the same time the licensing schemes have the potential to address health inequalities and improve the quality of the local environment.” The Housing Act 2004 provides the power to the Council to introduce Selective Licensing and Additional Licensing Schemes in its area. For example under proposals a selective licence will cost around £380 for five years, which equates to £6 per month or £76 per year.

Landlords would be issued a licence requiring them to demonstrate appropriate standards are being met – including gas and electrical certification and maintaining health and safety standards. As well as additional discretionary licensing conditions to address anti-social behaviour and environmental/management issues. In some cases, landlords may not be charged a fee for a licence if they are a ‘not for profit’ charity, or helping the Council meet homelessness duties. Each case would be considered on its merits

A 10-week consultation to help in developing a Selective Licensing Scheme and an Additional Licensing Scheme runs from 9 January to 20 March 2019. The consultation, and questionnaire, can be accessed at the property licesnsing page on the council website.

As Cannon Park Estate, the Cannon Hill Road area to the A45, and the Canley/Charter Road area are included in the 37 locations, and with the large number of HiMOs for Warwick University students here, it is very important that home-owning residents participate in this consultation, and complete the questionnaire. It should be noted that student-occupied HiMOs do not attract payment of the Council Tax.

Both schemes could take effect and start in 2020 and run for five years.

Also, please see News Story of 28/11/2018: Positive step by Coventry City Council and Warwick University.
Posted 17/01/2019
Cannon Park Car Park Redevelopment Update
Proposed student accommodation
Cannon Park Car Park Redevelopment: provision of a new student accommodation building with associated amenities, and multi-storey car park (MSCP)….. (FUL/2018/2651)

Following the last update on this proposed development, 34 new files have now been included in this application and were released by the Planning Officer on the 9th January 2019.

The full planning application is available for viewing.

Included in these files, is the summary letter on behalf of the developers.

It is important to review these documents, and comment on them again, considering all the previous communications on this application (see previous Stop Press articles on the webpage). Comments need to be received by the Planning Officer by 19th January 2019.

The visual impact of the proposed development is largely unchanged. It remains significant and out of keeping with the character of the local community. However it is presented, this is a 6 storey building with 808 accommodation units that is inappropriate for a suburban residential area.

In relation to the spinney, while the building line has been taken back to reduce the number of trees to be removed, there is still the massive overall impact on this important natural resource, which remains a serious concern.

The provision of car parking for the Shopping Centre is also of major concern. The current car parking on the area for the proposed development consists of 242 spaces for the public and 251 spaces for JLR, totalling 495. The original application was for a MSCP of 335 spaces for the public, and assurances were given then that JLR would no longer be using the car park. (67 additional spaces for students are a separate part of the plan for the student build itself and are not within the MSCP numbers quoted here). Not surprisingly, JLR were not looking for alternative parking at another site, and following review of the application, they requested inclusion of their 251 spaces into the MSCP. In order to accommodate this, the developers have now proposed to increase the number of car parking spaces within the confines of the current proposed MSCP build, to 422 spaces for both JLR and the public. This will reduce the number of spaces for the public from the current 242 to 171, a reduction of 71, putting additional pressure on the public parking spaces next to the Shopping Centre itself.

There is already major congestion at peak times for the Shopping Centre users and its staff, which will be significantly exacerbated during the proposed construction phases. Despite assurances from McAleer and Rushe officers at the original consultations, that JLR would no longer be using the car park, the decision to then agree to provide parking for them in the MSCP shows utter disregard for local road users and residents and will be a major inconvenience for those users of the Shopping Centre who do not wish to park in a MSCP.

Comments on this updated application should be submitted to the Planning Department of Coventry City Council. http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=798432
The Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre
Refugee Centre
Coventry refugee centre logo
The Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre is working with Coventry City Council and other partners in the City to help refugees and migrants integrate into life in Coventry and build up relationships with the host community.

The project offers opportunities to develop and improve skills through English for Speakers of Other Languages provision, volunteering placements, youth work and help in finding a home.

For more information go the centre's website

If you would like to get involved in this work, please contact Lucinda Croft
Posted 17 December 2018
New Street Watch initiative
Streetwatch group
Streetwatch logo
Sgt Stuart Randall is a Police Sergeant in Coventry with a responsibility for local policing services. He wishes to launch this Street Watch initiative in the local community.

Street Watch is a community-led initiative based on street patrols carried out by members of the public. Groups are managed by a volunteer co-ordinator who keeps a volunteer list and provides advice, guidance and support in consultation with the local police. Volunteers patrol in pairs or small groups and register each patrol on a website. If volunteers spot suspicious activity, they report it to the police but do not get involved.

Street Watch is about citizenship by providing visible reassurance and appropriate engagement around local issues that matter most to the community. Research shows that the presence of a capable guardian within a community, i.e. Street Watch members, reduces crime and anti-social behaviour.

Groups will normally consist of between 5 and 10 volunteers, and members will be subject to some basic police vetting to ensure they are suitable for the role. Training is provided by a police officer before patrols are commenced; this training lasts for about 90 minutes. Initial patrols are carried out with local officers who give guidance on staying safe when out and about. Group co-ordinators will have regular contact with their Neighbourhood Police officers to discuss local issues. Volunteers are required to patrol for only a minimum of 2 hours per month, but more is welcome.

The police are very keen to expand the number of schemes and volunteers in Coventry, so if you are interested to hear more about Street Watch, and its planned implementation locally, Sgt Randall is delivering awareness sessions for potential volunteers in the next few weeks. If you are planning to attend, please let him know by Email

Please copy your email to the CPCA Committee

Please share this information and Sgt Randall’s email address (s.randall@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk) amongst neighbours, friends and colleagues; the more residents who become involved in a local Street Watch, the more effective it will be.

Dates of awareness sessions are as follows:
Thursday 13th December at 6.30 pm at Canley Police Station (junction of Fletchamstead Highway and Sir Henry Parkes Road).

Thursday 20th Decembe at 6.30 pm at Canley Police Station. This is the date several members of the CPCA committee are attending.

Wednesday 2nd January at 6.30 pm at Canley Police Station.
Posted 10 December 2018
STOP PRESS ALERT: CHANGE OF PLANNING COMMITTEE DATE
The Cannon Park car park redevelopment (Reference: FUL/2018/2651)

This application was on the agenda for the Council Planning Committee to be held from 2 p.m. on Thursday 13th December, 2018.

Owing to further negotiations with the developer, the Council Case Officer has postponed the meeting date at which the application will be tabled. The planned date is now Thursday 14th February, 2019, from 2 p.m.
Cannon Park car park redevelopment (Reference: FUL/2018/2651)
This application is on the agenda of the Council Planning Committee to be held from 2 p.m. on Thursday 13th December, 2018. As previously recorded, the CPCA views on this 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.

If you have not submitted a response to this application, this can still be done, online, provided responses are received by the Planning Officer up to, and including, Monday 11th December, 2018.

Here is the online link to the application

A letter can also be sent to the Planning Officer concerned. For ease of use, a letter with a summary of the CPCA objections is attached to print off and use. Please ask family members and neighbours, who have not submitted a response if they will sign this letter too.
Posted 3 December 2018
COMMENTS
(For comments on news stories go to the bottom of the corresponding report.)
Comments on planning matters etc.
NEWS STORIES
Positive step by Coventry City Council and the University of Warwick
University of Warwick
A very positive step in Cannon Park, the Cannon Hill Road area and Canley is a joint initiative between the University of Warwick and Coventry City Council. Mr Steven Chantler, Senior Housing Enforcement Officer, is now working in these areas, and has the specific role of improving the local housing environment for Warwick University students. Steven’s work will not only benefit the students, but also local home-owning residents, as he is able to address concerns about the state of HiMOs in relation to general disrepair and untidiness. Issues with uncut lawns, poorly maintained trees and shrubs, uncollected and overflowing rubbish bins, overfilled and overdue skips, and broken fencing regularly cause frustration and annoyance.

This role centres on pro-active inspection of HiMOs in the area, to ensure that students are living in safe, clean and well-managed accommodation. Being in post for several months now, Steven has been able to gain full insight into the HiMO situation in the Cannon Park, Cannon Hill Road and Canley areas. The important point for landlords is that his role is to help and advise them to provide housing which achieves and maintains reasonable, acceptable standards for all concerned. Steven is clear that where landlords flout these standards, that he will have a robust approach to dealing with the problem!

The concerns of local home-owners in relation to student accommodation and HiMOs, centred on the above points, can be addressed to Steven. He can be contacted by email

Please note that issues such as Noise should be addressed to the specific department at Coventry City Council, whose contact details are available on the Council website. In such cases, Steven can also be informed by email, and he will be able to follow up the complaint with the relevant Council officers.
Posted 28 November 2018
Act now to stop this blot on the landscape in wildlife haven
Student building

McAleer & Rushe, the property company that owns Cannon Park Shopping Centre, wants to build a huge complex of students flats and a multi-storey car park on the existing car parks which back on to Shultern Lane.

The plans go before councillors on December 13. It is vital if you object to this development to make your voice heard now. Log on to this city council website.

Although the public consultation period may have elapsed, late comments/objections may still be made up until the committee meeting through the comments section.

Shultern Lane
The beautiful old lane, a reminder of the days when Cannon Park was farmland, is a haven for wildlife with its dense hedgerows and natural spinney. It also acts as a green shield, giving privacy to visitors to Canley Garden Cemetery which it borders. Not least it acts as pleasant green corridor for walkers, shoppers and church-goers who enjoy a relaxing stroll in a surviving part of countryside.

This peaceful backwater of Cannon Park would be irreversibly damaged if the planning application is approved. The huge buildings, on what is almost the highest point of the area, would dwarf even the highest of the trees and cast life-sapping shadows across what remains of the spinney and hedgerows. To say it would at odds with the surroundings would be a gross understatement. It is the equivalent of imposing a large hotel in a back garden.

Permanent residents in adjoining roads who bought their properties in what they believed would remain a traditional family suburb will find themselves living in an environment dominated by more than 800 students. Those who live in the conservation area nearby will see their view to the west dominated by towers of concrete and brick where they once saw woodland. Who could blame those homeowners for being deeply anxious? They face huge disruption to their daily life if building goes ahead for what are, in effect, halls of residence which belong on the Warwick University campus.

Those are just a few of the major social and environmental blights that will follow if this application is approved by city councilors. You will have many other examples of genuine concerns: increased traffic, the increased pressure on street parking, access for service vehicles, refuse disposal, noise nuisance and the visual isolation of St Joseph’s RC church by towering blocks.

The Cannon Park Community Association committee has examined the plans and met representatives of the development company. It unanimously opposes the proposals and it urges residents to join them in lodging objections.

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.
See also CAN article below.
From our Correspondent
Posted 22 November 2018
Have your say logo
Uni promise: we will pay for Cannon Hill road safety measures
Cannon Hill Road proposed safety measures
The danger spot on Cannon Hill Road where a zebra crossing would be built.
WARWICK UNIVERSITY has pledged to pay for a raft of road safety improvements to protect residents and schoolchildren in the Cannon Hill Road area.

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.

Cannon Hill Road crossing
Site of proposed zebra crossing
The plan includes:
*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.

Cannon Hill Road petitioners
Some petitioners for improvements on Cannon Hill Road. (See article "Thoughtless uni commuters are making our lives a misery, say protesters" in the Archives for February 2018).
He said: “The Council has recorded more than 3000 vehicles per week breaking the speed limit on Cannon Hill Road, many routinely travel at over 35mph, some frequently travelling at 50 and 60 mph, and occasionally faster. “Councillors and highways officers fully agreed over two years ago that it should be a 20mph zone but did not have the funds to implement it. Local Speedwatch sessions highlighted the problem to local police officers who also agreed for the need.

“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.

Have your say logo
“It will be an immense relief for residents, schoolchildren and parents who have witnessed and endured the increasing risk and burden over the last 10 years. “We all look forward to the Council implementing the improvements speedily to prevent further accidents and to reduce risk.”
From our correspondent
Posted 27 October 2018
West Midlands Police have launched a brand new live chat service
Live Chat poster
Live chat gives you the power to report all non-emergency crime online and speak to an adviser anytime between 8 am and midnight (Monday - Sunday).

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
CAN Article
CAN flier
(This article is taken, with permission, from the Coventry Action for Neighbourhoods [CAN] Newsletter of 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.

Shultern Lane
On this south side of the city we have almost a thousand houses which accommodate students and now a proposal has been submitted to Planning which would see the Cannon Park Tesco car park covered with a multi storey car park and huge flat roofed high rise blocks to accommodate yet another 800 students.

 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.

 
Shultern Lane
Locally we would not object to building programmes providing they reflect the needs of communities living on this side of Coventry. That should be homes for first time buyers, social housing and suitable accomodation for the elderly. All green spaces, trees and hedgerows should be retained and building of a suitable height and in keeping with the area

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.
Pip Pountney
Posted 24 October 2018

Frail widow, 87, was attacked while recuperating from life-saving hospital stay.

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.

Injured hand
They spotted a bangle on her wrist and cruelly wrenched it off, causing her hand to swell to the size of a melon and a wound which left a trail of blood across rooms and hallway.

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.
Mrs Kaur with flopwers and cards

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")
Intruder
What sort of men could attack a frail old lady?
Escaping intruder
No place for popular Jin’s cafe in Cannon Park reshuffle
Jin's Café closure
Picture shows owner Jin Bal (2nd left back row) and her staff on the last day of trading at the Cannon Park Shopping Centre
After months of uncertainty, Jin’s Cafe Express has closed its doors at the Cannon Park Shopping Centre.

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
Planners reject road fears and approve new estate at Westwood Heath
Westwood Heath Road
Westwood Heath Road -Bockendon Road junction near the site for the new Garden Village estate.
Massive public opposition has failed to stop a local authority giving permission for the first phase of a 425-home estate at Westwood Heath.

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.

In an email to his constituents, Cllr Skinner later said: “In  addition, there was mention of the 'reserved area' further towards Gibbet Hill Road where 700 more houses might possibly be built at some future point. Obviously changing Westwood Heath totally.

The various speakers made points about loss of green space affecting Burton Green and Westwood Heath, the effect of HS2, pollution and traffic.

I referred to road safety in particular and mentioned the constant speeding; the totally destroyed vehicles that I have seen in recent months; the crash in Tile Hill Village; the further crash in Station Avenue in the last few days. How the driver survived is beyond me.

I mentioned changes in Westwood Business Park; Fletchamstead Highway and Cromwell Lane, already agreed, and possible changes at Tile Hill Railway Station and Warwick University.”

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
Safeguard our children - petition calls on council to act over Cannon Hill Road danger spot
Cannon Hill Road crossing
A petition demanding a safe crossing for school children attending Cannon Park School has got off to a flying start.

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
Copped! The speeding drivers bringing danger to Cannon Hill Road>
Police chat
Speeding motorists were stopped in their tracks on Thursday when a team of police officers converged on Cannon Hill Road.

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.

Speed camera
The roadside monitoring, overseen by PC Stuart Wheeler, showed there was sufficient evidence to take enforcement action.

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.

Lookouts
PC Wheeler said: “A number of vehicles have been stopped in regard to inappropriate speed and those that have exceeded the limit will be reported for future action.” “However, we were pleased to see that the majority of drivers today have respected the speed limit.”

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
People
Written and produced by and for the residents of Cannon Park/Cannon Hill and neighbouring areas. Your contributions are welcomed.
Contact us at info@cannonpark.org

Editorial Comment


Road sign
Councillors ignore residents' demands to curb uni traffic

Coventry councillors have again ignored the views of people they were elected to represent and have given the green light to Warwick University’s expansion proposals.

Despite vigorous and well-argued representations from local residents that the plans would cause further road chaos, the planning committee waved them through.

Only one councillor, David Skinner (Tory, Westwood) who, significantly, lives in the area and knows first hand the severe problems university traffic already causes, voted to reject the plans. HIs two Conservative colleagues on the committee Roger Bailey (Cheylesmore) and Gary Crookes, who represents Wainbody ward, which includes Cannon Park, voted in the university’s favour. More predictably, all the Labour members toed the unspoken party line of “what the university wants it shall have.”

In this case, permission  for nine huge building projects, all on campus, which it argues are needed to keep it among the elite of UK universities.

The Cannon Park Community Association (CPCA) has no objection in principle to that aim. But like all major developments it should first have in place a transport infrastructure that can cope. As the uni enjoys massive tax breaks through its charitable status, and last year made a  surplus (profit) of more than £40million, is it unreasonable to suggest that it should be addressing this issue first?

Local resident Dave Goodwin, representing the CPCA, put the case succinctly to the committee on Thursday.

He said: “We are all suffering. Commuters, Uni staff, residents, neighbourhoods. Cars are the issue!

In a week that the TUC has announced that road congestion is a major problem, this committee is being asked to add to it.

Traffic
“The CPCA strongly object. Firstly, to project 9, the car park. It’s in the wrong location for the new A46 Link, and, secondly, the raising of the current car parking limit by a further 1030 spaces.

READ ON
“Warwick University now has more car parking per head than any other university, and they want more. 19 per cent more spaces, 19 per cent  more cars at peak times. The Uni’s Consultants Traffic Analysis confirms that all major road junctions are currently at or over capacity.

“The Uni has failed miserably in its 2009 travel plan and its consultants have publicly confirmed so. They also claim that additional car parking will ease the parking on residential streets. Nonsense. That’s done to save the £5 per day parking charges.

“Other universities have reduced their single occupancy staff cars. To 35 percent in Exeter, 32 percent iin Sussex, and 26 percent in Leeds. Warwick has remained at a staggering 67 per cent for the past ten years. This is appalling. They are now putting the the monkey on the shoulders of Council officers and members to solve.

“If Warwick Uni put proper effort into the car share scheme, just like other universities, they would now need 2000 less parking spaces not 1000 more. A difference of 3000 spaces. 6000 commuter journeys each day on our local roads and residential streets.

“The Council should reject any increase in car park spaces until the road infrastructure can cope, by that I mean phases 2 and 3 of the A46 Link Road. This will take a total of 80 percent of the University’s traffic directly into the south of the campus using only A-roads and avoiding residential streets and country lanes.

“I request that each and every member of this committee consider these fact and reject the University’s request for an uplift in car parking and direct the Uni to resolve their failed car share scheme.”
Posted 22 November 2018