Solihull Local Plan – Draft Submission Plan
Solihull MBC have published the latest version of the Solihull Local Plan. The consultation period runs up until 14 December 20. This is your final chance to make representation before the plan is submitted to Planning Inspectorate for examination.
As stated on the Solihull MBC website “Solihull’s Local Plan will guide the development of the borough for the next decade and beyond. It is the basis for future planning decisions as it creates a ‘blueprint’ for when and where major developments should and shouldn’t take place.
The grounds for making representations can only relate to the soundness and legal compliance of this Draft Submission Plan.”
Those wishing to make representations should visit the Local Plan Review page of the Council website. The site includes a short video which explains how to make a representation and is also included here.”
If you have any queries, or would like any further information, you can contact a member of the Policy & Delivery Team on 0121 704 8008 or email email@example.com
Local Changes made through the earlier consultation process: Land west of Dickens Heath, Previously site 4 now BL1, covering the sports grounds off Tythe Barn Lane and land across to the canal, reduced from 700 to 350 homes.
The Parish Council advise parishioners to use this opportunity to make final representations regarding the Solihull Local Plan.
You can also Comment on the Solihull Local Plan Consultaion by Submit an email with your name, address and comments to: – firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are examples / notes of valid planning comments that can be used by residents to comment on the Local Plan Review – Site 4 (part of west of Dickens Heath BL1).
Suggestions were provided by Jean Walters of CPRE. The Parish Council wishes to thank Jean for all her help and support that she continues to provide.
- Site 4, West of Dickens Heath (also referenced as BL1) is in a high performing Green Belt area, which has not been taken into consideration in the Sustainability Appraisal. Central Government Policy is to protect the Green Belt and develop on Brownfield land first.
- The Sustainability Appraisal tries to prove that this Site is sustainable when it clearly is not, owing to the numerous mitigation measures proposed to try and make it sustainable, some of which are unachievable.
- The sports fields can be re-located but at some upheaval to the clubs and members, but why move them in the first place?
- The Council have not undergone a proper scrutiny of all other more sustainable sites in a sequential test that would have fewer constraints if the Sustainability Appraisal had been carried out correctly in the first place, before the site allocation, rather than trying to make the pre-selected site allocations fit the Plan.
- This proposed development of 250 houses will be un-associated, both visually and physically, with the award-winning Village of Dickens Heath. The character and setting of the Village will be adversely affected and sense of community and identity compromised. There are strong, definable boundaries to the existing Village being the canal and the woodlands and ancient hedgerows.
- Site 4 is surrounded by Local Wildlife Sites and Ancient Woodland. Although the Council state that to mitigate for the proposed development the area can be enhanced, they have not considered the very important connectivity of these important ecological sites. Indeed, Natural England have stated that “Ensure current ecological networks are not compromised, and future improvements in habitat connectivity are not prejudiced.”
- Traffic & Village centre parking. The Traffic Study does propose some works to improve the congestion in peak hours but the situation will be further exacerbated by the huge number of new homes proposed in the Blythe area and South Shirley. The Council only propose to solve the Village Centre parking problem by controlling some on-street parking which will not solve the existing problem and will only be made worse with more development. The narrow, rural road network cannot take further development and is already overloaded.
- The proposed development is not within a recognised walking distance from the Village Centre facilities, so further adds to the un-sustainability of the development. The Council state that a new footpath will be needed to the private road of Birchy Close to reduce the walking distance but this is legally unachievable. They suggest that a new bus route down Birchy Leasowes Lane could be provided but how will a bus exit the junction with Dickens Heath Road safely. At this junction the ancient woodland either side of this junction would inhibit any road improvement which has not been recommended. All the proposed footpaths are welcomed and should have been put in place many years ago to facilitate the extensions of the existing Village.
- Although the flooding report states that Site 4 is mostly in flood zone 1, local residents have evidence that the sports fields flood nearly every year because of the increased rainfall due to climate change and the fact that this area is of bolder clay that restricts permeability. Even given the fact that a sustainable urban drainage (SUD) system is proposed, this all adds to the unsustainability of this site when other “Amber” sites have far less constraints.
There will be many other issues you may wish to add but it is important that as many people as possible write in what they think, which will affect the area that we live in for many years to come. Your comments will then go before a Government Inspector to examine the local plan in a virtual public meeting to commence possibly next Spring/Summer.