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COVENTRY'S BID FOR NATIONAL STADIUM GETS BACKING FROM SOLIHULL MP

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A Birmingham MP today offered his support for Coventry's bid to secure the national stadium. ...
A Birmingham MP today offered his support for Coventry's bid to secure the national stadium.

Coventry is bidding against London and Birmingham in a three way battle to build the replacement for Wembley, and plans to create a state-of-the-art 90,000 all seater stadium on the site earmarked as the future home of Coventry City.

The scheme has won support of the city's Labour MPs, while council leaders have met sport minister Richard Caborn to explain the project.

And now Solihull MP John Taylor has criticised Birmingham's proposed stadium, planned for his neighbouring constituency.

He said: 'I am unhappy about the plan for several very important reasons. Firstly the project's backers want to penetrate Solihull's green belt, which has been protected from development for very good reasons.

'The 'Meriden gap' is vital to Birmingham and Coventry. It prevents an urban sprawl southwards and eastwards, which could, if allowed, simply create a continuous built-up conurbation. We have fought long and hard to preserve the belt and just because the stadium is a project of national importance, it doesn't mean all the rules should go out of the window.

'If Birmingham's case finds any favour at all, I believe it ought to go to a full enquiry.

'Also, there is very heavy pressure on the M42 corridor, as any motorist will tell you, and such a stadium would make matters worse, intolerable even on match days.

'Coventry has a suitable, fully-prepared brownfield site which is perfect for the project. It has planning consents in place, traffic studies and environmental impact surveys all completed and is therefore well ahead of Birmingham.

'I would like the stadium in the West Midlands and Coventry is the bid which I support.'

* see LGCnetfor 'WEST MIDLANDS BID TO REPLACE WEMBLEY'

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