A pensioner who has found solace in wildlife is heartbroken that green land outside his home is due to be sold for development.
Robin Davies said his visitors on the patch of land off Cheltenham Croft – including a fox, badgers and endangered songbirds like Willow Warblers – were the only thing that kept him sane during lockdown.
But Coventry City Council agreed to sell the land for “much-needed” housing in 2018.
The authority is now seeking to secure planning permission ahead of marketing the site to potential developers.
Mr Davies said: “It’s only a small piece of land owned by the council and because it’s on a flood plain it has been ignored for 30 years allowing nature to take it back and thrive.
“I was heartbroken to hear of the development plans and have pleaded with the council not to cut back the brambles where the birds are nesting.”
He added: “Living alone and being forced to stay at home has meant that my environment has become even more important to me so living adjacent to a piece of land that is a wildlife haven is a real blessing.
“We have a fox that comes to visit most nights at dusk. He comes out and relaxes on the lawn with no fear at all. One of the neighbours has had a badger in his garden.
“Deer also use the land as a corridor to the Wyken Croft nature reserve next door but the Council seem to be totally indifferent to its worth to the community and are only interested in what they can get for it.”
A spokesman for the council said the nearby Wyken Croft nature park and River Sowe would mean there were still lots of places for wildlife to live and for people to enjoy nature.
Councillor Kevin Maton said: “It’s always controversial as to where you should build on green belt to make use of the land.
“This is already an area where there is some housing, and we have a shortage of land for housing, so it would almost certainly go to social landlords.
“Residents will have an opportunity to comment on future planning applications. We would have to make sure some of the surrounding greenery there would be retained as a buffer to the properties.
“Locally we would want an opportunity for housing but in a way that doesn’t cause any problems for nearby residents.”
A council spokesman said: “The land in question off Cheltenham Croft is one of a small number of sites that the Council has agreed to sell for new and much needed housing.
“The plan to sell was approved in 2018 and the next step will be to secure planning permission ahead of marketing the site.
“Wyken Croft nature park and the River Sowe are very close by so there will still be lots of habitat for wildlife and places for local people to enjoy nature. There will also be an opportunity for local people to comment on the planning application.”