Monday, 7 January 2013

Canley Housing Development Fences Itself In

Below is my objection to a proposed housing development in Canley, which I think falls a long way short of the kind of standards we need if we are to develop fully accessible communities:

Original drawing (scroll down for full size):

My comments (scroll down for full size):

I OBJECT to the current form of the site, which fences itself in, instead of providing better access to nearby land.
There is an opportunity to provide an east-west cycle route from the city centre via Hearsall Common, with one option being a branch using the subway at the end of Burnsall Rd.
Access to this subway, and hence towards the city centre by bike, and to Canley Station, should be enhanced, not ignored. There should be a direct link between the subway and the drive of Unit 52.
There should also be a link from Unit 105 to the Fletchamstead Highway. Whilst this route is not ideal for cycling, it does provide important access to nearby employment sites, and also to Sainsbury's and other shops in Coventry Business Park. Failure to provide such a link will merely make people more likely to drive to these locations.
Although this is a high density proposal, it still maintains many of the elements of "sprawl" by providing two parking spaces per unit, and by failing to provide "filtered permeability" (direct pedestrian and cycling connections) at all four possible opportunities to do so. This also means there are less opportunities for social interaction, jogging and dog walking.
A cycle route could run around the edge of this development site, and then along the southern side of the railway line until reaching Wolfe Rd. Funding should be provided as part of a Section 106 agreement for additional cycling improvements, to complement outline proposals contained within the Cycle Coventry scheme.
"Shared surface" is no substitute for adequate provision of play space, and direct access should be provided to Canley Community Centre. It is unclear from the plans whether the gap between 169 and 170 would contain a pathway.
If I was looking at a house on the northern side, I would be concerned about proximity to the pylons. However, this is not a reason for completely blocking off access to this area, especially as a fence does nothing to obscure the view of the pylons anyway.
There is substantial removal of green open space, yet the development itself does not even provide so much as a pocket park, whilst also blocking off potential through routes.
Whilst I welcome the opportunity to develop much needed new homes, I feel that this design is of a poor quality and should be refused.

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