Following a meeting of the planning board at North Warwickshire Borough Council, the application by Harworth Estates to turn local colliery Daw Mill into a rail hub have been unanimously rejected.
The decision comes following fierce opposition from local residents, at a meeting which saw hundreds of protestors attend to hear the outcome. Conservative councillors Mark Simpson for Arley and Whitacre and Mark Jones for Coleshill South, who both sit on the planning committee, spoke at the meeting about their concerns around increased traffic, the threat to the greenbelt and the overwhelming concerns of residents about changes to many local communities as a result of the proposed application. They echoed the concerns already expressed by other speakers, including representatives from LAWRAG, a local group opposed to the development and fellow councillors who do not sit on the planning committee.
Conservative Group Leader, David Humphreys said: “I am extremely happy about this result from the planning board. It protects not only the green belt but the whole concept of the rurality of North Warwickshire; this area has tremendous views of the Blythe Valley and provides a meaningful gap between the major settlements of North Warwickshire and the slow ingress of major urban neighbours.”
Coleshill South councillor, Mark Jones said: “As I said on the evening of the application it has really been a nightmare not being able to comment because of my membership of the planning board. I am really pleased there was total and unanimous support from all of the planning board against this ludicrous application and I also appeal to the County Council to listen to local people and do what they have already committed to and now restore this site back to green belt land. I am also pleased that there was total cross party support for this decision and politics never came into it - just support for local opinion. We now have the appeal to deal with and I for one will do all I can to oppose any further plans and I am assured that Conservative MP Craig Tracey will also be doing his best. Well done to LAWRAG for all of their time and hard work.”