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16027 – Access to Swallows Nest, Coventry

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A request for information about access to Swallows Nest Housing Estate, Coventry.

Ref: FOI/16027


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 17th February 2016

Please find below a summary of our findings.


I am writing to you to voice my concerns and also request some information regarding emergency access to my housing estate.

My property is part of the estate:  ‘Swallows Nest’ Lyons drive, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9PP

Currently there is one two way vehicle entrance to this estate and there are over 100 properties inside this estate.

Recently a fence was removed at the further end of the estate to apparently allow access for emergency services, connecting a walkway route to Coundon Wedge Drive from Lyons drive. There are bollards on this entrance which prevent vehicle access, however there is adequate pedestrian access and I believe the bollards can be lowered in event of emergency.

I have been in talks with Taylor Wimpey who are the developers of this estate as they now plan to re-fence this entrance. As we have been made aware this is an emergency access point I cannot understand the reasoning behind blocking it.

I understand that developers are required to submit their plans to the fire service for approval and would like to request what information you have from Taylor Wimpey and Coventry city council regarding emergency access to this estate.


Information concerning developers plans that was submitted to West Midlands Fire Service are available on Coventry City Council website please follow the link. and use reference number RMM/2013/1192.  Therefore this information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor.


I feel that once this opening has been fenced over it again leaves residents vulnerable as there is a single entrance to the estate and often the parking on the street would make any access difficult especially fire service.

I am appealing the decision for this opening to be fenced as I do not believe it serves in the publics best interest, I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide on this matter.


Our Fire Safety Officers from Coventry have inspected the mentioned site and have reviewed the plans submitted, also visited the site 22nd February 2016 to determine the extent of the problem and offer the following conclusion with regards to fire service access:

  • Current access arrangements for the fire service are satisfactory and meet the functional requirements of section B5 of the Building Regulations even without the “emergency access” at the rear of the estate.
  • If the plans had been submitted without the ”emergency access” then the functional requirements would still be satisfactory.
  • A single access road is acceptable provided that there is adequate turning facilities.
  • Residents parking and obstructing roadways is a common problem which we have no control over.
  • The location of the “emergency access” route would not be used by WMFS as we would respond to the postal address given which is accessed via Browns Lane.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW