Protestors find new evidence Warwick district’s Local Plan may be based on shoddy stats

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Protestors from in and around Burton Green who think the Warwick district Local Plan is based on shoddy statistics have found more evidence to support their claim.

The revised plan will see 1,800 homes built at King’s Hill, 425 at Westwood Heath, and 90 in Burton Green itself if adopted. 240 houses will also be built west of Cromwell Lane as part of Coventry’s Local Plan.

Burton Green parish council leader Cllr Archie Taylor described the housing as ‘an affront to social justice.’

The plans were based on a model by consultants GL Hearn, who used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to produce them.

But Merle Gering, of Keresley, and friends with Cllr Taylor, felt the growth for Coventry was too high.

Now, more evidence the ONS may have overestimated the student population due to flawed methods has been found.

In an email seen by the KWN, an ONS statistician admitted estimating how many students left Coventry after studying there was ‘an issue’.

And in a publicly available document, the ONS states if a student does not register with a new GP within three years, they assume they have stayed in the same area. Merle claims this method produces problems when it comes to international students returning to their countries of origin.

Merle said: “We now have the detailed mechanism of how ONS is inflating the Coventry population estimate, by a huge number, every year, by relying on a new GP registration somewhere else, to count students out of Coventry.

“For international students who leave the country, it does not happen.”

Merle, Cllr Taylor and others will be taking part in a ‘human chain’ protest this Sunday (July 16) in Green Lane outside Finham Primary School to protest the planned housing. It starts at 1pm, and all are invited to join in.