Campaigners step up fight to save land from housing after draft Local Plan changes - The Solihull Observer

Campaigners step up fight to save land from housing after draft Local Plan changes

Solihull Editorial 21st Jan, 2019   0

CAMPAIGNERS have stepped up the fight to save land from development after the latest update to Solihull’s draft Local Plan.

Last week a meeting of Solihull Council’s cabinet approved a non-statutory six-week consultation after a revised version of the plan had been published.

It includes adaptations in response to new government policy, and assessments of the 70-plus additional ‘call-for-sites’ submissions, which saw communities put forward proposed sites for development.

Since the publication petitions have been set up on the website to stop the development of ‘site four’ in Dickens Heath and ‘site 12′ in Shirley by Coun Ken Hawkins.

Site four, land west of Dickens Heath near Whitlocak’s End train station, has been earmarked for 350 houses and a play area.

According to Coun Hawkins’ petition, site four is the home for three sports clubs with several playing pitches including football and rugby, and proposals show the replacement of just two playing pitches.

Coun Hawkins adds: “The proposals show the replacement of just two playing pitches – this is contrary to Solihull Council’s planning policy P20, which requires at least a re-provision or replacement of such recreational facilities.”

He also notes in the petition there will be extra congestion on the roads around Shirley and Dickens Heath. It has been signed by almost 900 people.

Site 12, land south of Dog Kennel Lane, has been earmarked for 1,000 homes.

The online petition has around 850 signatures.

Coun Hawkins said: “The already gridlocked roads of Dog Kennel Lane and Tanworth Lane already witness severe congestion at peak times and there is a serious burden on an area already seeing substantial development – Blthye Valley Park, Cheswick Green, Dickens Heath as well as commercial developments in the area.

“The immediate area, as well as Shirley in general will not be able to cope with the extra traffic this development will bring.

“In addition, Cheswick Green witnessed severe flooding in March and May 2018 and the risk of adding to flooding problems is high.”

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