Much-needed affordable housing could be built over 10 garage sites in Solihull - The Solihull Observer

Much-needed affordable housing could be built over 10 garage sites in Solihull

Solihull Editorial 21st Sep, 2018   0

MUCH-NEEDED affordable housing could be built over 10 garage sites in Solihull.

The council owns nearly 5,000 garage units in the borough and a third of them are unused.

Assessments have been undertaken to judge sites’ suitability for future house building.

The results will feed into Solihull’s Local Plan, the council’s blueprint for where land is identified for housing needs.

A shortfall of 28,150 dwellings has been outlined and arguments continue about building on greenbelt land.

The council has said many of the borough’s 205 garage sites are not suitable for houses due to planning considerations and underground conditions.

But since 2004, nearly 100 affordable homes have been built on former council garage sites.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ade Adeyemo said: “I feel that many of the borough’s garage sites are eyesores which should be knocked down and redeveloped into townhouses, which should be a mix of new homes and modern garages.

“Most of the council-owned garages are not fit for purpose.

“They are far too small to accommodate (larger) modern cars and are often in a poor state.

“Anti-social behaviour is also on the increase at garage sites, primarily because they are often secluded and not in regular use.

“Most local residents I speak to would be glad to see them knocked down and redeveloped.

“My preference is for such new homes to be affordable starter homes targeted at young people from the borough.

“Young people from Solihull are often forced to move out of the borough due to high house prices.

“Demand for local affordable housing and homes for elderly, disabled and visually impaired people is at an all-time high.”

A report to the Economic Development and Managed Growth Scrutiny Board last week stated: “Garage sites can be difficult to redevelop for housing but Solihull Community Housing SCH (the borough’s provider of social housing) has identified six sites that have the potential to deliver 41 affordable homes.

“There are a further four sites which are less certain of being developable but which are being progressed by SCH.”

A Housing Revenue Account Stock Development Plan 2018– 2023 was reported in July and committed to 110 new affordable homes being built through surplus council sites, garage site redevelopment and selective acquisition of open market housing.

SCH has earmarked the following 10 sites:

1. Anglesey Ave Demolished (Smiths Wood).

2. Willow Way (Chelmsley Wood).

3. Daylesford Road (Lyndon ward).

4. Daylesford Road (Lyndon ward).

5. Brackleys Way (Lyndon ward).

6. Halifax Road (Shirley West).

Another four have been indicated as only potential sites due to being more ‘problematic’. These are:

1. Camplea Croft (Kingshurst and Fordbridge).

2. Elms Close (Silhill).

3. Chapelhouse Road (Kingshurst and Fordbridge).

4. Hilleys Croft (Kingshurst and Fordbridge).


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