SMBC Process To access Future Housig Needs

SMBC  advised that they have commenced a process, in conjunction with district neighbours to assess future housing needs. In the interim the Solihull Policy Position statement will be used to assess the 5 year housing land supply position. This position statement will be kept under review and will be updated in response to any material changes in circumstances, particularly including any factors that may affect the calculation of the 5 year land supply.

Legal Challenges to Solihull Local Plan and Appeals

Solihull Local Plan

The Council’s Local Plan which sets out targets for the number of new homes to be built in Solihull and defines how that target will be achieved was approved by the Government’s Planning Inspector and then formally adopted by Solihull Council in early December 2013. This plan originally  included for the return of Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green Farm land to green belt status.

Legal challenge

During early January 2014 a legal challenge was submitted to the High Court, by Gallagher Estates (Lowbrook Farm) and LionCourt Homes (Tidbury Green Farm).

The judgement to the High Court appeal, was made public on the 1st May 2014. The appeal succeeded on 2 of the 3 grounds raised against Solihull MBC, which relate the housing need figures used in developing the plan and its method used to assess revisions to the green belt boundary (Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green farm)

This meant that SMBC had to reconsider its housing needs and the method it used to assess revisions to the greenbelt boundary.

Solihull Adjust Housing Numbers

Solihull MBC (SMBC) published a statement regarding the Court Order made by the judge. SMBC sought to limit any deletions or changes that the judge required them to make to the Local Plan to those parts which were the subject of the court case and the judge agreed. The affected sections were those dealing with housing numbers and the judge ordered that they be sent back to the Government Planning for re-examination.

Besides paragraphs in the Solihull Local Plan dealing with housing numbers that were been deleted, the paragraph relating to the two sites in Tidbury Green that were to have been returned to the Green Belt was also deleted. SMBC stressed that this did not necessarily mean the sites are suitable for development or can now be developed.

SMBC asked the judge for permission to appeal his decision and that was refused.

Solihull MBC produced a Position Statement, which was requested by the High Court Judge. Within the Position Statement sites included in the Solihull Local Plan as future phased developments were considered, in order to demonstrate that Solihull could meet its 5 year housing land requirements,

Previously submitted applications which were scheduled as phase 2 and 3 developments (Braggs Farm, Cleobury Lane/Dickens Heath Road and Mount Dairy Farm) had been fought predominately on the phasing argument and the fact that SMBC could demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, based on the Local Plan. SMBC were no longer in a position to use these factors as reasons to oppose the re-submitted applications for these 3 developments and consequently the development proposals were brought forward and approved

SMBC were granted leave to appeal the High Court Decision on the Solihull Local Plan.

The court hearing to consider the appeal made by Solihull MBC against the decision by the High Court Judge on the Solihull Local Plan took place on the 25th and 26th November 2014.

Solihull Appeal Dimissed By High Court

On the 17th December 2014 Solihull MBC’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, failing on both counts: housing numbers and Tidbury Green sites. It was argued that both Tidbury Green Farm and Lowbrook Farm sites are not suitable for ‘sustainable development’, however the judges concluded that sustainability for development was not a ‘green belt reason’ for the change back to green belt. In terms of the housing target numbers the judges concluded that Solihull had not undertaken an Objective Assessment of Needs (of the number of houses it would require. Consequently Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green Farm sites are not green belt designated sites and Solihull are required to review and re-assess their housing land supply numbers.

SMBC Appeal Dismissed

The court hearing to consider the appeal made by Solihull MBC against the decision by the High Court Judge on the Solihull Local Plan took place on the 25th and 26th November 2014.

On the 17th December 2014 Solihull MBC’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, failing on both counts: housing numbers and Tidbury Green sites. It was argued that both Tidbury Green Farm and Lowbrook Farm sites are not suitable for ‘sustainable development’, however the judges concluded that sustainability for development was not a ‘green belt reason’ for the change back to green belt. In terms of the housing target numbers the judges concluded that Solihull had not undertaken an Objective Assessment of Needs (of the number of houses it would require. Consequently Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green Farm sites are not green belt designated sites and Solihull are required to review and re-assess their housing land supply numbers.

13th October 2014 BURGLARY DWELLING

At a property on Tilehouse Lane. Unknown offender(s) entered rear garden and walked into an insecure extension that was in the process of being built. The extension has 4 walls and a roof but was awaiting arrival of doors. Offender(s) stole tools from the extension and made good their escape.

Identity Theft

There have been several reports of Identity theft where persons have been using addresses to obtain car Insurance. We can only assume that they are  getting a lower rate because of the post code area or getting credit to obtain such as the addresses used are likely to have a good credit score rating.

These person are possibly using their own names but the addresses they are using are selected at random.

It is believed that they are not local and could be from anywhere in the UK.  A majority of the names on the letters are Eastern European sounding.

If you receive any letters of this nature can I ask that you report the matter to Action Fraud, details of how to do this can be obtained on the below link.

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Cash Machines

There have recently been several incidents at ATM Cash Points whereby person(s) have been using a device which placed over the part of the machine where you put your card in, this disables the machine and keeps the users card. Once the user as left the Offender(s) are then able to access the card and users details to remove cash from their account.

If you are using any Cash Machines please be vigilant and if you think there is something not quite right then let the bank know during opening times or contact the Police on the below numbers ( 999 in an emergency only)

Cold Callers

Knowle, Dorridge & Blythe Neighbourhood Police Team advised us of an incident recently where an elderly lady was called by someone pertaining to be from Barclays bank informing her that there had been a security breach of her account and that she needed to take her money out and transfer it to another account through the Post Office. The person appeared to know a lot about the ladies account even though she did not do any internet banking. Barclays were contacted and they stated that they had no knowledge of the call to the lady and it was certainly not from their Organisation. Unfortunately the lady lost a large sum of money. This highlights the importance of being vigilant when taking such calls and not divulging any information over the phone. The advice given is that if you receive such a call no matter how convincing they are or how much knowledge they have about you, you should ask for a call back later and then check with your bank yourself. Use a number you regularly use which is familiar to you to call them. However you are reminded not to discuss banking details over the phone from an incoming call that you are not expecting.

Our Local Neighbourhood Policing Team have brought the following magazine scam to our attention. The scam was reported to them by one of their coordinators.

The coordinator in question recently received a telephone call from a company called Sapphire Magazine (their telephone number was 08445 670 460), they said he/she had completed a telephone survey for them (I do not remember this). They said they would like to send them a trial magazine and a £20 petrol voucher.

If he/she liked the magazine they could subscribe for £79 a year, and the profits would go to a Cancer charity, all he/she had to do was give them a £1 for postage, this pound was to be paid by credit card.

The company were informed  that he/she was not comfortable with giving out their card number, so they said they could phone their customer services on 0843 507 0707.

The number was checked out to the above ‘company’ on the web, there are a lot of people who have been taken in by this, it appears that they take £79 out of your account, not £1, and there is no magazine, and you can not contact them again, or get your money back.

If you wish to check this out just ‘google’ Sapphire Magazine Scam.

Stranger Danger

Following an incident where a girl was approached in Dorridge on the morning of Friday 24th January the police are asking parents and teachers to drive home the ‘stranger danger’ message.
The 10-year-old was on her way to school in Slater Road at around 8am when a man in a silver car pulled alongside her and asked her to get in.

The girl immediately ran off and alerted her school who called police and an investigation has been launched.

It’s important children are reminded about ‘stranger danger’ safety messages, never to get into cars of motorists they don’t know, and to always report suspicious behaviour so that the police can investigate.

But at the same time it should be stressed that the girl has not been injured, or indeed physically touched.”

Police are working with Solihull Council to reassure parents and carers that the incident is being fully investigated and to advise of the need to be vigilant.

West Midlands Police has issued the following advice:

• Never go off on your own with a stranger, take things from them or get in a car with them.
• Make sure you tell your parents where you are.
• If someone scares you, or makes you feel uncomfortable go somewhere safe, which could be your home, your school or a police station. Remember to tell someone what has happened straight away.

If you would like to discuss any other policing matters please contact your local policing team on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Shed Break Ins

Last year saw a slight increase of shed break ins across Bythe, Knowle, Dorridge and Hockley Heath Neighbourhoods and one such crime was reported (as detailed below) on Tilehouse Lane over the Christmas period.

Most residents do not check their sheds over the winter months, so thefts can go un-noticed. The police advise that we should all regularly check our garden sheds so that if any thefts have taken place they can be reported.

The police also advise that where ever possible, you should ensure that sheds and other out buildings are padlocked and if possible fitted with a shed alarm(s) which can be purchased from most Garden Centre’s or DIY outlets.

If you see anyone or anything suspicious in your local community please call officers on 101. Always dial 999 if a crime is in progress.