Greenbelt campaigners have reacted with fury after Coventry City Council told them they can't submit a petition calling for an extension to the consultation period because the decision's already been taken.
Local campaigner, Gary Ridley, was blocked from setting up a petition on the Council's website which asked them to consider extending the consultation period beyond the legal minimum. The Council insist that the decision on the consultation period is final and they will not consider extending it.
Working alongside Woodlands Ward Councillors Peter Male and Julia Lepoidevin, the outraged petitioners have instead set up a petition on change.org and will raise the issue at the forthcoming Woodlands Ward Forum this Thursday (11th February).
Commenting on the issue Gary said; "If the Council allow development on Eastern Green it'll affect residents for many years to come, so if it's such a good idea surely there should be a proper consultation? They're rushing this decision through with the minimum consultation allowed by law and now they won't even let us present a petition!"
Woodlands Ward Councillor Peter Male said; "The Council's decision to refuse our petition regarding the dismissive consultation period granted to consider the Local Plan proposals is a further example of the disregard that is held for the residents of Coventry. Is it the case that we are no longer permitted to protest Labour group decisions?"
Fellow Woodlands Ward Councillor Julia Lepoidevin said; "I'm very disappointed by this decision".
The length of the consultation, which is the minimum allowed by law, was voted through by Labour Councillors in January. That's despite calls from the Conservative Group to extend it to three months. They also agreed there was no need for a further vote on development plans once the current consultation period ends. Residents have until Monday 29th February to respond to the consultation which they can do by visiting www.coventry.gov.uk