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

  

Guidance for Halloween –

Please find below guidance, which has been provided by Solihull MBC, on how to have a safe Halloween this year for cascading through your networks.

Enjoy Halloween safely this year

Halloween is a time when people often gather together and this poses a risk for COVID-19 transmission.  

The current lockdown restrictions in Solihull prevent gatherings of more than 6 taking place in private gardens outside, with no one is permitted to come inside your home unless they have a valid exemption.

Below are ideas and guidance to help you plan a safe Halloween this year:   

Make sure you help to reduce the spread of the virus by avoiding:

Knocking on doors – this increases transmission potential and would expose our many as residents who are vulnerable and should be protected, as well as those who are isolating.

Traditional trick or treating – where treats are handed to children who go door to door or children take sweets from a shared bucket.

 

Organising or attending crowded costume parties held indoors, outdoors or at your own home.

Instead of the traditional door to door trick or treating where the virus can be spread by touch, why not try:

·         Carve or decorate pumpkins and display in your household

·         Organise a Halloween treasure hunt at home

·         Host a virtual party with themed games and music

·         Watch a scary movie with the familyincluding spooky treats

·         Have a virtual Halloween costume contest

By following this guidance you can enjoy a safe and fun Halloween, whilst also protecting your neighbours, friends and family!

Great British September Clean September 11th – 27th

As many of you are aware the Great British Spring Clean (GBSC) was one of the many events across the country which had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.

Well now Solihull MBC have advised that, it’s back, and the Love Solihull team are encouraging residents to grab their litter pickers and give the borough a Great British September Clean. 

They have kindley provided the information below:-

The GBSC is a fantastic incentive to get people talking about the importance of keeping our communities clean, green and safe by taking action to dispose of litter in the right way.

Litter picking has an immediately positive impact on our neighbourhoods and means we can continue to take pride in our neighbourhoods. However, in these very different times, we must remember to put safety first and follow the guidance around social distancing so that we don’t jeopardise our health and that of those around us.

As the Love Solihull teams first priority is to make sure everyone stays safe and well, we have attached our Community Litter Picking Guidelines, Community Litter Picking Risk Assessment and Covid-19 Guidance.

It is also important to remember that large group clean-ups aren’t possible at the moment, but we can offer support to individuals signed up to the Love Solihull Community Litter Picking Initiative who may go out in groups of up to 6 people.

If you haven’t already got your own equipment but would like to take part in the Great British September Clean either as an individual or as a small group, just sign up to the Love Solihull Community Litter Picking Initiative by completing and returning the attached Community Litter Picking Registration Form to lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk we can then arrange delivery of your litter picking equipment.

When planning your GBSP remember:-

Small groups are key

So while we cannot support large community clean-ups at this time a litter-pick can be just as effective alone or in pairs. For those taking part in groups, this should involve a maximum of six people if from different households. Please do make yourselves familiar with our Covid-19 Guidance.

Make space – stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

Please do not promote the time and place you intend to undertake any activities to avoid the risk of large social gatherings. Also, if you’re litter picking in a public place like a park or a playground, think about when it’s likely to be quieter, and plan your clean-up for then.

Collaborate with Love Solihull 

Leave your full Love Solihull litter bags next to SMBC litter bins (maximum 2 bags). If you need to arrange a special collection where you either have bags that you have not been able to leave next to a litter bin or where you have more than 2 bags that need collecting from one location please contact lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk

We want to hear from you

We really want to keep a running total of all the bags collected during GBSC 2020, so please do get in touch at lovesolihull@solihull.gov.uk and let us know how your litter pick went and we will share your story. If you take any photos don’t forget to tag in @lovesolihull on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #LoveSolihull #GreatBritishSeptemberClean

You can also show your support for the GBSC by pledging your time here:- https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

Before we go, this year’s GBSC initiative comes at a time when caring for the environment and living more sustainably has never been more important. Right now, a lot of things are uncertain, but our passion for tackling litter and our love for the environment remains unchanged.

Thank you to all the volunteers who selflessly dedicate their own time to help clean up our streets and parks therefore protecting the beautiful environment we share. 

Information provided by

Community Engagement Officers

Public Realm Team | Environmental Services | Managed Growth & Communities Directorate | Solihull MBC

0121 704 6243

www.solihull.gov.uk

Flooding – Solihull Council gives the go ahead to start flood mitigation schemes in Solihull.

Solihull MBC provided the information below on 2nd September 2020

Councillor Ken Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways has now signed off on a series of flood mitigation schemes which will help over 100 properties in the borough.

These schemes will see residents being offered the opportunity to introduce Property Level Resilience and Resistance (PLR) measures, essentially practical support, to make their homes safer.

Those residents who are included will be contacted and asked to complete an online questionnaire to scope out their requirements and to arrange individual property surveys.

Flood risk specialists, appointed by the Council will be contacting these residents directly to undertake the surveys in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines.

The Council will continue to look at securing further funding so more schemes can be rolled out to other areas that are at risk of flooding.

For more information about the Flood Mitigation Schemes please contact the Council’s Drainage and Flood Risk Management Team, drainage@solihull.gov.uk

Flooding – Solihull homes to be better protected from flooding thanks to Environment Agency funding

Solihull MBC provided the update below on 28th August 2020

Solihull Council has been granted £440k worth of Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) funding by the Environment Agency to use for flood mitigation schemes at four locations within the borough.

Alongside the Environment Agency funding there is a commitment of £431k from the Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, which means the council has now secured over £800k of external funding for these potential schemes.

In the wake of terrible flooding in 2018 the Council pledged to investigate what could be done to protect people’s homes from such flooding in the future.  Officers explored options for mitigation schemes as well as bidding for the relevant funding to deliver them.

A mitigation scheme can be only be delivered when there is FDGiA funding in place, supplemented by Local Levy and partnership funding, and after a business case is submitted to the Environment Agency and given technical approval.

In July 2020, bids for Local Levy funding were approved by the Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and the relevant business cases were submitted to the Environment Agency for final approval, granted on the 26 August.