Fulford Green Development Proposal & Solihull Local Plan Review – Update 27th September 2021

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. Their proposal is to develop approx. 1800 homes, a high street, with shops and cafes and also a zero-carbon school.

At the Parish Council Meeting, which was held on Wednesday 15th September, the Parish Council Unanimously agreed that they object to the Fulford Green development proposal.

As previously reported “The site at this time is NOT included in the Draft Solihull Local plan”. However, 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.

Following The Draft Solihull Local Plan being submitted to the Secretary of State, it has now been submitted for independent examination – see Solihull Local Plan – Examination in Public.

The hearings in relation to the examination take place between 27th Sept and 9th Dec 2021.

During the hearings the overall housing requirement will be debated, to establish if the Draft Plan includes sufficient housing numbers to meet housing need in Solihull, which includes numbers required as part of their “duty to Cooperate” commitment, which involves contributing to housing number shortfalls where required, to neighbouring areas, including Birmingham.

Based on available information and intelligence, it appears that housing need numbers in some neighbourhood areas including Birmingham, are higher than originally anticipated. Consequently each Neighbouring area may have to make a contribution to deal with the shortfall.

If as anticipated the Inspectors conclude that further homes are required, the likelihood is that various landowners/ developers including Summix will put their sites and proposals forward to Solihull MBC, for them to consider if they should be included in the Local Plan.

Further details about the Examination in Public can be found on the dedicated webpages on the Council website at www.solihull.gov.uk/eip.

The following information was received from Solihull MBC on the 23rd September 2021

A revised timetable has been issued by the Planning Inspectors and can be found on the EiP Council webpages here.

Please be aware you cannot attend the EiP in person unless you have been invited by the Planning Inspectors to participate in the hearings because you made written representations to the Regulation 19 consultation that took place from October to December 2020.

Also because of COVID concerns, there is no capacity for people to attend to observe the proceedings.

However, they will be broadcast live and you will be able to view sessions in the video library at your convenience.  Please follow this link here.

 You can read more here.

 

Solihull MBC’s Holiday activities and food programme (HAF)

Plaease see the Information Below, provided by Solihull MBC:-

Dear parent/carer

HAF (Holiday Activities & Food programme) for families in receipt of benefits related free school meals over the summer holiday period As part of the government’s £220 million scheme to support families during the summer holiday period, Solihull Council are providing healthy food and enriching activities to families in Solihull.

The eligibility is based on means tested income grounds, not the universal free meal for KS1 pupils. If you meet the free school meals benefits criteria, you will be able to book onto a variety of activities across the borough at no cost. Click https://socialsolihull.org.uk/localoffer/summer-activities/ for details.

See this government video promoting the programme, featuring well known free school meals campaigner, Marcus Rashford,

Yours sincerely
HAF Team

HAF Poster

Letter from Marcus Rashford and Henry Dimbleby-2021

Community testing centres to open to anyone without COVID symptoms

Solihull MBC have advised that the following  press release was released, regarding the expansion of Solihull Council’s community testing programme from Monday 8 March 2021.

  https://www.solihull.gov.uk/news/community-testing-centres-open-anyone-without-covid-symptoms

The booking page has also been updated to include further information including FAQs: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/COVID-19/covidtesting

New Fuel Voucher and Support Scheme

Attached and below is information about the fuel voucher and support scheme launched in Solihull to help vulnerable families and households who are struggling to pay their fuel bills due to loss of income or increased fuel use.

Solihull Council have provided funding in recognition of the additional burden the COVID-19 outbreak is having on vulnerable families and households who are struggling to pay their fuel bills due to loss of income or increased fuel use. The scheme supports people in the following ways:

  • Debt write off (up to £250) to those who are unable to pay their fuel bill and have been in debt with their energy supplier for the last six months and are unable to set up a debt payment plan with their supplier.
  • Energy Bill Support. Provision of funds to help with payment of energy bills of £49 for households, maximum of 3 applications. Further details can be found on the attached flyer.
  • Additional support in the form of energy advice such as tariff advice, Priority Service Registration with Western Power, accessing Warm Homes Discount, if applicable and onward referrals e.g. income maximisation, access to other funding for energy efficiency measures e.g. heating and/or insulation. 
  • Boiler servicing and chimney sweeping to ensure householders have a safe and warm home.
  • Boiler repairs to ensure no family is left in a no heat situation.
  • Boiler replacement if repairs cannot be undertaken and no other source of funding is available.

More Details can be found in the 2 documents below

Solihull Warner Winter Flyer

Warmer Winter Fuel Vouchers

Kerbside waste and recycling collections, deliveries and bulky waste collections

Please see below the information provided by Solihull MBC:-

Kerbside waste and recycling collections, deliveries and bulky waste collections will resume tomorrow, Wednesday 27 January.


If your collection was Monday 25 January:

  • Rubbish – we will take additional side waste on your next scheduled collection on Monday 1 February
  • Recycling – we are unable to return until your next scheduled recycling collection on Monday 8 February

If your collection was Tuesday 26 January:

  • Rubbish – we will take additional side waste on your next scheduled collection on Tuesday 2 February
  • Recycling – we are unable to return until your next scheduled recycling collection day on Tuesday 9 February

If your collection is Wednesday 27 January:


Kerbside collections will be carried out as scheduled. Please note collection times may be different to normal so please ensure that your bins/containers are out by 7.00am.

Winter offer for families and vulnerable households – Winter Warmer Vouchers, Winter Warmth Campaign (expansion) and Jubilee Children’s Storehouse

Please see the attached information provided by Solihull MBC :-

Following the provision of Winter Grant Scheme funding from the government, new and additional activity has been supported to help ensure that families and vulnerable households have access to help to keep them and their homes warm during the winter.

Please find details, by visiting the website:-

https://www.solihull.gov.uk/news/more-help-available-solihull-households-keep-warm-winter

Also please see the “Help with food and fuel” Link below

https://www.solihull.gov.uk/COVID-19/Help-with-food

Solihull MBC are also promoting the Jubilee Children’s Storehouse and its clothing offer for children and young people through helping to increase their stock of winter clothing and shoes. Details of the the Jubilee Children’s Storehouse can be found here

Solihull Local Plan Review- Consultation

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 psp@solihull.gov.uk

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: – psp@solihull.gov.uk

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The sports fields can be re-located but at some upheaval to the clubs and members, but why move them in the first place?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Solihull’s Draft Submission Plan online webinars

Solihull MBC have provided the information below:-

Council officers are holding two webinars to help residents and businesses make final representations about Solihull’s Draft Submission Plan.

Representations can be submitted up to Monday 14 December 2020, before the Plan is submitted for independent examination.   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.   Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing explains what the plan means for Solihull in a short video here.     Those wanting to make representations need to visit the Local Plan Review page of the Council website as at this stage there is a formal method of submitting a representation.  A short video explains how to make a representation here.  

To offer interested parties an opportunity to discuss the Plan with Council officers, two webinars have been organised  Thursday 12 November at 10am Monday 16 November at 5.30pm To take part, you need to go to the Council’s YouTube page where these webinars will be streamed. 

 If you would like to forward a question for the team to answer as part of the webinar, you can do in advance to psp@solihull.gov.uk, please include ‘Question for Webinar’ in the subject line of your email.   The representation period will close on Monday 14 December.   Read more here.

For more information about Solihull’s Local Plan review, visit www.solihull.gov.uk/lpr