Nearly 10 per cent of
grassland in Coventry will be destroyed if a new business park that
will create up to 2,500 jobs is built, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has
The eighty-acre business park
is being planned next to Jaguar’s Whitley design base. It will be a
base largely for hi-tech firms working in the car industry.
Bosses at Warwickshire
Wildlife Trust today said that they were disappointed that the
government is considering allowing the scheme to go ahead.
Secretary of State for the
Environment, Transport and Regions John Prescott said he was planning
to give the park the green light once certain details had been cleared
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
say the damage to Whitley Common would be too great, and the scheme
should be stopped.
It is estimated that nearly
ten per cent of the city’s grassland will be lost in the
development. The land is known to provide nesting sites for at least
five pairs of skylarks.
The trust is concerned that
this is one of the few remaining habitats suitable for ground nesting
birds in the city.
Conditions to help reduce the
impact of the scheme on the surrounding wildlife will be attached to
the planning permission when granted.
Andrew Thompson, WWT
conservation manager, said more talks will be held with Jaguar to try
and make sure these conditions are implemented to have the maximum
benefit for the environment.
“Very sadly the
destruction of natural greenspace and wildlife habitat is being
allowed to continue.
“The Sowe Valley forms one
of the most important green corridors in Coventry.
“This development, located
where the River Sowe and Sherbourne meet, will reduce the wildlife
value of the corridor and bring intrusive urban development into one
of the few remaining attractive natural areas in the city.
now need to work even harder to protect what remains, or the River
Sowe will end up as a characterless urban drain, like so many of the
rivers and streams in our urban areas.”