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Ignoring guidelines to meet housing targets; LETTERS Get in touch - tell us what you think Email: letters@coventrytelegraph.net Twitter: @coventrytelegraph Facebook: facebook.com/coventrytelegraph Post: Coventry Telegraph, Leicester Row, Canal Basin, Coventry, CV1 4LY.

AN article in The Times (May 8) states that "councils ignore powers to limit housebuilding on the green belt" and quotes government regulations, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), that specifically restrict development on green belt.

The article states that "some local authorities choose to protect their green belts but others accept much higher housing targets and allow developers to build on environmental valuable land".

Coventry City Council is one such authority that specifically ignores the government guidelines and choose to make themselves "not legally compliant" and permit green belt development where it is specifically restricted.

We are aware that the government pays councils a new homes bonus of PS9,000 per home as an incentive to build UK houses. Similarly, Coventry wants to build "high tax band housing" on green belt to generate council tax. These two fiscal incentives override Coventry City Council's public duty to protect the residents from the extreme demands of the Developers.

Coventry also has an ambition to return to being a 'top ten' city. This is an acceptable ambition but you cannot force the general population to increase to the council's target of 400,000. Even in the peak of the automotive industry, the population only reached around 370,000.

So how does Coventry justify the extraordinary housing targets? They are required to determine their "objectively assessed need" (OAN) to meet the housing market demand.

Unfortunately, Coventry use consultant-generated computer projections which are contrary to official data such as the public records on births and deaths and the official census. As such, babies yet to be born and people who have died, apparently buy houses.

Similarly, all of the university students are counted in the population projections and allegedly never leave Coventry, despite a Freedom of Information request from the University stating that only 0.18 per cent remain in Coventry after graduation.

Even if the OAN was genuine, other authorities use the NPPF restrictions to set lower targets to protect the green belt and other sites. Why is Coventry ignoring their responsibility and projecting a local plan that is a 'Developer's Charter' by another name.

Clive Birch Tile Hill

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Andy Street

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 20, 2017
Words:360
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