Fulford Green: A new Garden Village for Solihull
Many Parishioners of Tidbury Green and surrounding areas have become aware that Summix FHS Developments LLP (Summix) has been promoting land for development to the South of Tidbury Green, referred to as Fulford Green: A new Garden Village for Solihull.
Details of the proposal can be found here.
The Parish Council only recently became aware of the proposal when 3 representatives from Summix attended our recent Parish Council meeting at the end of July 2021.
The 3 representatives talked through Summix FHS Developments LLP emerging vision for a new sustainable zero-carbon community in Solihull.
They plan to develop approx. 1800 homes, a high street, with shops and cafes and also a zero-carbon school. They explained that the site was included in the submissions, when Solihull MBC carried out their Call for Sites, (for development) request. The site at this time is NOT included in the Draft Solihull Local plan.
Summix believe that “Fulford Green will provide a new blueprint for sustainable place-making, helping Solihull and the wider West Midlands conurbation achieve its ambitious net zero targets, while at the same time critically delivering the homes the region needs. Connectivity and local amenity will be key. They believe that Fulford Green’s proximity to Earlswood railway station will greatly reduce reliance on private vehicle use. They also plan to design the proposed site, to encourage walking and cycling.”
At the meeting Councillors and others in attendance expressed their concerns which included the following as to why the proposal is in an “unsuitable location”:
- Damage to Greenbelt.
- Environmental damage
- Insufficient infrastructure to support more development.
- Unfair allocation of development sites in Tidbury Green compared to other areas across the Borough. The feeling is that Tidbury Green has had their fair share of development.
- Impact on flooding (surface water and flood risk) in Tidbury Green. This is already an issue which could be exacerbated by further development.
The Solihull Local Plan
The Solihull 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 can take place, and where it shouldn’t.
The Solihull Local Plan is currently in draft form and does not include the Fulford Green site.
The Draft Solihull Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State (via the Planning Inspectorate) for it to be independently examined.
The Council’s plan has now been submitted for independent examination – see Solihull Local Plan – Examination in Public.
Hearings in relation to the examination are currently scheduled to take place between 27th Sept and 9th Dec 2021. The hearings programme can be found on the web site noted above. The overall housing requirement is scheduled to be debated at the hearings on 5th & 6th October. The Housing site allocations for Blythe are due to be debated on 16th Nov.
Solihull MBC have advised that:
Two Inspectors, Kevin Ward BA (Hons) MRTPI and K. Ford MSc MRTPI, have been appointed to carry out the Examination in Public, (EIP).
Kelly Akins has been appointed as the Programme Officer for the examination, working under the inspectors’ direction independently from the Council. A full guidance note is available here.
The Inspectors published a timetable for the hearings on 2 August, which sees the Examination in Public (EiP) starting on 27 September and then running through until 9 December 2021.
They have also issued their ‘Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs)‘ which will be the focus for the hearings. All those who submitted responses or representations will have received this document, which seeks to clarify issues prior to the hearings commencing.
Kelly Akins, Programme Officer will be the contact for those interested in participating in the hearings. However, only persons making representations to the Regulation 19 consultation (that took place from October to December 2020) will be able to participate in the hearings.
Those who did make representations to the Regulation 19 consultation (that took place from October to December 2020), must ensure you submit your request to speak by 5pm on Friday 27th August 2021 in writing to the independent programme officer.
Further details about the Examination in Public can be found on the dedicated webpages on the Council website at www.solihull.gov.uk/eip.
During the Examination in Public (EiP) the following matters will be discussed:
- Matter 1 – Procedural/legal requirements
- Matter 2 – The duty to cooperate
- Matter 3 – The housing requirement/overall housing provision
- Matter 4 – The Spatial Strategy
- Matter 5 – Sustainable economic growth
- Matter 6a – Housing site allocations – Balsall Common
- Matter 6c – Housing site allocations – Solihull
- Matter 6e – Housing site allocations – Blythe
- Matter 6f – Housing site allocation – Hockley Heath
- Matter 6g – Housing site allocations – Knowle
- Matter 6h – Housing site allocation – North of the Borough
- Matter 7 – Providing homes for all
- Matter 8 – Improving accessibility and encouraging sustainable travel
- Matter 9 – Protecting and enhancing our environment
- Matter 10 – Promoting quality of place
- Matter 11 – Health and supporting local communities
- Matter 12 – Housing land supply
- Matter 13 – Delivery, infrastructure and monitoring
Jean Walters, (CPRE’s Solihull representative) will be representing Tidbury Green Parish Council on Matter 6e – Housing site allocations for Blythe
Housing Numbers; and the Local Plan
SMBC have advised the following:
- Summix have made representations on the local plan via their agents to make the case that the plan is not sound as it does not include sufficient land for new housing and that the site at Fulford Green should be included.
- Details of omitted sites that have attracted objections due to their omission can be found in a schedule of information that the Inspectors have asked for. This Fulford Green site is detailed on page 91 of the document which can be found here:https://www.solihull.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2021-07/Local-Plan-EIP-SMBC-response-to-matter-e-Information-on-Omitted-Alternative-Sites-V2.pdf
- After the hearings the Inspectors are expected to report upon the soundness of the plan, and whether the Council can formally adopt the plan as its new local plan. They may recommend that modifications are made to the plan in order for it to be found sound, and if such modifications are made they will be subject to a future consultation.
What should Parishioners do?
- Familiarise yourself with the Solihull Local Plan.
- Review any information, including that which will be added to the Parish Council website (tidburygreen-pc.org.uk), following the EiP. Or via The Council’sStay Connected alert service which provides an opportunity for interested parties to sign up to receive informal alerts about various Council matters, including the progress of the Local Plan
- Attend any meeting (restrictions may apply on numbers who can attend) set up by the Parish Council to specifically talk about the proposed development. Agendas for these meetings will be added to the Parish Council website (tidburygreen-pc.org.uk) and the noticeboards throughout Tidbury Green.
- Please email your concerns (focus on why the site is not a suitable location for development) regarding the development to Garry Palmer at Solihull MBC email: email@example.com
- Ms. Jean Walters (a planning specialist) has kindly agreed to support Tidbury Green Parish Council and challenge the proposed development. To assist our representative with developing a sound case, please email details of your concerns and relevant local knowledge so that a robust case against the proposed development can be communicated. Please email this to the Parish Clerk – Charlotte Kirby firstname.lastname@example.org. The clerk will not be able to respond to your emails, however, will ensure that the relevant information is shared with Ms Jean Walters.
20 Aug 2021
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Information is subject to change at short notice.