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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Coventry Population Growth

The Birmingham Mail (19th July) is reporting some newly released figures from the Office for National Statistics showing causes of population growth in English cities (including Birmingham and Coventry).

Apparently, 58 per cent of population growth in Birmingham between 2007 and 2016 was fuelled by immigration.

In the same ten year period, Coventry had an extra 52,782 people, and a staggering 98 per cent of that figure appears to have come from immigration.

Local Authority Population change 2007-16, % due to immigration 

The original article is here:


A political dimension to the recent controversy concerning building on the green belt also became apparent in this report from the Coventry Telegraph (14th July).

Full report here:

Friday, 21 July 2017

Planning Application South of Westwood Heath Road

A hybrid planning application has been made to Warwick District Council for the construction of 425 houses South of Westwood Heath Road.

You can see all of the associated documentation (including details of all objections that have so far been received), and submit your own comments, on the Warwick District Council website. For your convenience, the particular page is here:


Objections are filed under the tab labelled 'Documents'.

Please note the cut off date of 11th August should you wish to respond.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Draft Minutes of Residents’ Association Committee Meeting July 11th 2017


Andy Gibbs; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Mary Webb; Hilary Cox

In attendance: Betty Woodward.

1. Apologies

Apologies had been received from Dianne Adams, Trish Hancock, Bron Putnam, Diane Swindells, Rona Taylor and Faith Ward.

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Dementia article for BugleCllr Green
HS2 compensation article for BugleCllr Gibbs
Bulb planting article for BugleMary
Resident’s feedback to Cala Homes consultation to be passed on to PCRona
Further thoughts on Nov 10th 2018 eventAll
Match funding of £85 to be paid to Fast AidDianne
Slight updating of Welcome PackJudi
Standing agenda item name change from HS2 Opposition Group to HS2Judi
Check defibrillator boxMary

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting of May 9th 2017 were approved.

Matters Arising from the previous minutes
  • Request 50% of Bugle printing costs from PC: cheque received.
  • Find out availability of Salvation Army Band for November 10th 2018: not available.
  • Dementia leaflets to be obtained and distributed: instead Caryll Green to write for the September Bugle. Action: Cllr Green
  • Arrange Bugle distribution: completed.
  • Letter of thanks to Deirdre for sign refurbishment: completed.
  • Include in Bugle information for residents to sign up to Village Email Loop: completed.
  • Greenway Trust to be consulted regarding problems of access and need for notices about taking home litter: completed.
  • Book Village Hall for afternoon and early evening Saturday November 10th 2018: completed.
  • Availability of singer for commemoration event: Jane Darling WW2 singer would charge £150 for two slots. It was decided this was not required.
  • Bugle item about HS2 compensation packages: Andy to do for September edition. Action: Cllr Gibbs
  • Future agenda item re bulb planting: details to be included in September Bugle. Action: Mary
  • Minutes on Burton Green website to be published as draft: completed

All other matters arising were to be agenda items.

2. Treasurer's Report

A report had been circulated.

Mary reported that, with a few exceptions still to be chased, annual subscriptions had been collected with good results.

The Public Liability insurance certificate was now on display in the hall entrance.

3. Residents' views/concerns

Communication from resident regarding footpath:

A resident living on Red Lane had communicated with Rona following the Cala Homes consultation. In particular she was concerned about the pedestrian route along Red Lane, especially when walking young children. She suggested Cala Homes might be asked to create a new footpath avoiding the bends in Red Lane and crossing to Hob Lane.

She also queried whether the 30mph speed limit could be extended but the committee knew how difficult it had been to implement the current restrictions and that John Whitehouse, former County Councillor, had worked tirelessly to obtain them.

The resident also queried the car parking facilities proposed by Cala Homes, especially the insufficient number of spaces and the potential bottleneck on entry and exit.

The committee agreed the footpath and parking were matters for the Parish Council to pursue with Cala Homes and via the Neighbourhood Plan. Action: Rona

At the same time Peter Hallam would be contacted again about the current Red Lane footpath to see if it could be improved. Action: Mary

There was also discussion regarding the potential Cala Homes support for the new Village Hall and it was agreed the Village Hall committee and Parish Council were dealing with this situation.

4. Update on and discussion of Residents' Association initiatives and issues

  • a. Feedback from Jubilee Group – June 10th finances
The very wet windy evening had prohibited Henry’s band from playing safely at the planned event. No wet weather insurance had been taken out on this occasion. People had worked very hard and there was much disappointment. Fortunately, agreement had recently been reached with the band to provide a replacement concert on September 23rd in the Village Hall. Those who had paid for tickets for the cancelled event would be admitted free of charge and offered a glass of wine on arrival as a thank you for their continued patience and support. Tickets would be on sale to anyone else.
  • b. Warden Shelter, Red Lane. Ross McClean from Sustrans had looked at the shelter and agreed to cut back the ivy in September. He reported that the brick work appeared to be in good condition. A decision will be taken on whether repairs are necessary once the vegetation has been removed. The Wardens’ Cricket Club in Kenilworth had been approached but had insufficient funds to help.
  • c. Nov 10th 2018 – afternoon tea. The Village Hall was booked. The choir had agreed to lead community singing. Some members of the committee felt a more varied afternoon should be offered to attract families. Betty suggested having available games of the era. The Parish Council were looking into the possibility of a beacon which Peter Stanworth could be willing to place at Long Meadow Farm. Unfortunately there would not be access for residents. BGRA were continuing to look at other possible sites for this beacon. Perhaps the owners of Burrow Hill Nursery would allow it at a high point on their land but this might depend on whether house building had begun on the site? Another suggestion was to ask the residents of the water tower if they would consider putting it on their roof. The Parish Council would be approached about the purchase of the beacon. Committee members would continue to think about other activities. Action: all
  • d. Fast Aid had received an £85 donation on the night of their presentation and workshop. It was agreed BGRA would match fund this amount. Dianne would be asked to write a cheque for £170 to Fast Aid. Action: Dianne
  • e. The Welcome Pack needed slight updating. The Bugle Team would be asked to carry a couple each as they were aware of new residents moving in to the village. Action: Judi

5. Village Hall

The Village Hall Trustees had been told by HS2 that the current design for the new village hall was not acceptable. Discussions were on- going.

6. HS2 Opposition Group

It was agreed to change the title of this agenda item. The new title would be simply HS2. Action: Judi

Community Fund

Andy reminded us that all residents need to be encouraged to suggest what facilities and enhancement to Burton Green they wished to see post HS2. These ideas would then be costed and could be presented to The Community Fund.

Instant ideas included footpath improvement, mains drainage in Red Lane and Hob Lane, use of sandstone blocks from the bridges removed by HS2 for a possible area outside the new Village Hall and repair of the Air Warden's Shelter. It might also be necessary to ask for monies to assist in the rebuilding of the new Village Hall. Andy advised that each request should be made as the need arose rather than presenting a long list.

7. Parish Councillor's Report

No report had been provided.

Andy said the Parish Council had discussed the ongoing matter of how Coventry City Council had overestimated how many houses were needed and this impacted on the proposed house building projects on Green Belt within our area. Leaflets had been distributed calling on residents to support a protest on Sunday July 16th.

A Neighborhood Design Group has been formed under Cllr.Ray Watkins, with each Lane having representatives, and when ready would inform residents.

8. Any Other Business

Presentation of the Local Plan.

Rona had been to a presentation on the plans for a proposed new junction off the A46 at Stoneleigh. Proposals were also under discussion for a Phase 2 and eventually a Phase 3 new road system. Consultation on Phase 2 was due in May 2018. Of greatest concern to residents would be the route of Phase 3 which could well threaten Burton Green. Adrian Hart, WCC Team Leader of Transport Planning agreed he would make a presentation to the PC once plans were more advanced. He had been honest in his responses to Rona, which she appreciated, but her fears were not allayed.

Retired of Burton Green lunch

The next lunch for the Retired of Burton Green was to be held on October 6th.

Bulb planting

In the September edition of the Bugle residents will be offered 7 bulbs for planting to enhance an area of the village. This item would be discussed in more detail at the next meeting. Neighbourhood Plan A Neighbourhood Plan meeting had been held on July 3rd. Ray Watkins would provide an article for the September Bugle. Funding was available from Warwickshire County Council.


The box containing the defibrillator was faulty. Mary would investigate this with Pete Hancock. Action: Mary

9. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next meeting would take place on September 12th 2017.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Protest Over False Premises in WDC Local Plan

There is a report in the Kenilworth Weekly News detailing false premises in the WDC local plan, and describing a protest planned for 16th July at Finham.

"A ‘human chain’ will be formed with Burton Green residents and many others in protest over new housing from Warwick District’s Local Plan next weekend. If adopted, the plan will see 1,800 homes built at King’s Hill, 425 at Westwood Heath, and 90 in Burton Green itself. Also, 240 houses will be built west of Cromwell Lane as part of Coventry’s Local Plan as well... 
In protest, residents and campaigners will be forming a ‘human chain’ in Green Lane next to Finham Primary School on Sunday July 16 at 1pm. Anyone against the plans is invited to join in...."
Read the full report, detailing objections to the plan, here:

Event Details

  • At 12.50  pm we will be starting our line at the Finham Primary school gate and then spreading down Green Lane until we reach KINGS HILL LANE. N.B we must remain on the path at all times both for safety and to keep our protest within the law.
  • Anyone travelling by cars please make sure that you park in a side street or on the side of the road OPPOSITE to where we will be standing for safety reasons.
  • Please do NOT park on the forecourt in front of the shops as we need that area to assemble at the end.
  • Find the next space and join the line.
  • Those residents that have the large orange SAVE THE GREENBELT banners please bring them to make more impact in photographs.
  • We have some of the yellow posters NO BUILDING ON KINGS HILL which we will hand out to different people along the route.
  • When we complete the line between the school and Kings Hill Lane we would ask people to start the line from the Primary School towards Finham Park School.  If everyone in Finham turns out to support us we should be able to fill the whole of Green Lane.
  • We have invited Jim Cunningham and the Coventry Councillors to join us.
  • A tractor will be driving along Green Lane during our HOUR of Protest so give a cheer as it passes and remind any media there NO BUILDING ON KINGS HILL.
  • We will be joined by other residents from across the city who are also campaigning against the building on Greenbelt land. 
  • At 1.45 please make your way to the forecourt of the shops in Green Lane where the protest will end with short speeches from

o   Jim Cunningham
o   Gary Crookes
o   Paul Davies
The poster for the event can be found here:

July 11th - World Population Day

July 11th (today) is World Population Day. Governments around the world are being urged to consider the problems caused by unrestrained population growth and to take action.

Though the answer to population growth has nothing to do with building more houses.

See, for example:

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Burton Green (Warwickshire) Open Gardens 2017

Ten gardens in Burton Green were opened to the public on Sunday July 2nd. Below are the descriptions and a couple of representative photos of each garden...

Garden #1 

A long rectangular garden split into different sections - a terrace area with small pond, more formal lawn and long border, middle section with wildlife pond and vegetable beds, fruit cage, greenhouse and cutting border.

Garden #2 

A long mature garden at the rear of a 1913s semi-detached house. A practical garden that accommodates dogs, grandchildren, flower borders, fruit and vegetable areas. Chrysanthemums are grown as a hobby.

Garden #3 

A medium to large cottage style garden with no formal planting. At the end of the garden area a 3 acre plot is home to Tamworth pigs and chickens.

Garden #4

The garden is for outside living which grand children and adults can enjoy. There are two separate spaces, untamed and more formal both attracting wild life and providing distinctive areas of light, shade and privacy.

Garden #5

A modern style house with hedged back garden, complete with flower and shrub borders, raised vegetable beds, container plants and greenhouses. Complemented by garden ornaments and wicker sculptures.

Garden #6

A long frontage, and a long back garden with mature trees and shrubs. A fishpond and large patio at the back with pots.

Garden #7

A garden round a series of old farm buildings with shrub and herbaceous borders. The duck pond has a spinney of native species. The garden to the rear has an orchard, a vegetable plot, herbaceous borders and lawns.

Garden #8

A courtyard garden with cafe for cakes and teas, Also plant and book sales.

Garden #9

Garden #10

A 16th Century House with 2 acre garden. Mixed borders with over 35 varieties of old shrub roses, vegetable garden and woodland walk.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hyperloop and Self-Driving Transport - More Reasons to Scrap HS2

Two separate articles have recently appeared which give different reasons why HS2 would be obsolete before it could be completed. The most recent article, in the Spectator (1st July), refers to the inevitable advent of driverless cars and lorries. The earlier articles describe Elon Musk's Hyperloop, which is intended to provide a similar service to HS2 but much faster and at greatly reduced cost.

"Those who built the Channel Tunnel never saw the low-cost era of airline travel coming. When the tunnel rail link, or HS1, opened in 1997, Brussels’ bureaucrats were busy putting the final touches to the Single Skies initiative, which created a common market for European air travel. It wasn’t long before Ryanair, easyJet and the other low cost carriers took off... The problem with such big endeavours as the Channel Tunnel, and now HS2, is that they take a long time to plan and construct. In the meantime, the world has a habit of changing... Even if HS2 is completed on time, the big question remains: will customers materialise in the numbers anticipated? Given the revolution in self-drive technology, does Britain really need all this extra railway capacity? ... with billions being ploughed into self-drive research, fully capable self-drive vehicles (most likely electrically powered) will be on sale long before the London-Birmingham phase of HS2 opens. There are good odds that HS2 will find itself facing a stalled or even declining market – hitting the buffers before it is even built."

Full article:



This is yet another good economic case for scrapping HS2.

If HS2 were to be built, and if Hyperloop is also built, then Hyperloop will be providing a service which is 4 times quicker than HS2 and also at a cheaper fare to passengers. Would anyone at all use HS2?

There is a report that Elon Musk is planning to build a very high speed transport system between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland. The system is known as Hyperloop. It would operate at 1,000 km per hour. The journey time between Birmingham and London would be 14 minutes. It is claimed that this can be built at one tenth of the cost of conventional high-speed rail.

The system is claimed to be faster, safer, cheaper, and use less land, than conventional high-speed rail.

Recent report in the Daily Mail:

Also under consideration, by the Department of Transport, is a second Hyperloop route termed the Northern Arc, linking key cities in the North of England:

More about the Northern Arc here:

These two videos have been produced by BMW Germany (why are British companies not at the forefront of this research?):

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A46 Link Road

The West Midlands Combined Authority has produced a planning document outlining transport planning for the next 10 years. Of local interest is the previously proposed A46 link road.

The new document refers to "Enhanced connectivity between the A46 and A45 in order to better connect the growth in Warwick District and around the south of Coventry to the UK Central Hub area and HS2."

The document does not however include any reference to the A452, nor to Kirby Corner, which had both been referred to in previous documents. The only definite statement is the sentence quoted just above.

The document includes a vague map indicating possible routes. One route would appear to run along Cromwell Lane, Station Avenue and Banner Lane...

Detail from the map on page 36, 'Coventry Infrastructure Planning Development Pressure Assumptions', with additional annotation.

The complete West Midlands Combined Authority document (in PDF format) can be viewed here:

WCC's latest thinking on this matter is explained here, under 'Phase 3':
"Phase 3 This phase would fall in Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s area, with a link from Phase 2 of the scheme towards either the A45 or A452. This element of the project is currently at an early exploratory stage. The aim of Phase 3 will be to enhance connectivity between the Coventry and Warwickshire sub-region and the economic opportunities afforded by UK Central in Solihull. It would necessarily be dependent on successful delivery of Phases 1 and 2. Like Phase 2, there is no firm date for the implementation of Phase 3, but the aspiration at present is to see this come forward around 2026 or soon after."
There is an earlier speculative post, based on the original Kirby Corner to A452 proposal, via Westwood Heath Road and Hallmeadow Road, here: