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Planning Updates


This page provides full details of key development matters that effect Tidbury Green. It includes details of the current Solihull Local Plan Review, the Solihull Plan, Lowbrook Farm proposed development and the recently approved Tidbury Green Farm Development.

The Home page provides the latest updates available on these matters. This page however provides full details, including historic updates provided. The updates are in chronological order, so you will need to work your way down the page to see the latest position.

 


Solihull Local Plan Review - Consultation

 

All residents of Tidbury Green should have received the attached Newsletter advising of the Solihull Local Plan Review and urging Parishioners to respond to the consultation.

The consultation document and the questionnaire that requires completing and returning can be found from the Solihull MBC website http://www.solihull.gov.uk/lpr, or alternatively copies are available for inspection at Council Offices and libraries around the Borough. Responses need to be returned by post or email to arrive at Solihull Council no later the of 22nd January 2016

The Parish Council are currently producing a response to the Consultation and once again urge as many parishioners as possible to take part and have their say.  We appreciate that this is a very busy time of year, but it is important that you participate as the outcome of this consultation could be significant for Tidbury Green in terms of planning and development and how your area looks in the future.

Some of the questions are quite technical, however where you feel that you are unable to provide a response, the Parish Council suggest that you write "No Comment" and then focus on the questions where you can add your views, continuing on a separate letter if necessary.

Once again the Parish Council wishes to stress the importance of this review and consultation and believes that the more people that respond the stronger the voice of Tidbury Green will be. This is your chance to act, please take it!


Latest Update

 

 

The parish Council circulated the attached Newsletter to all residents of Tidbury Green, advising of the Solihull Local Plan Review and urging Parishioners to respond to the consultation.

The Parish Council reviewed the consultation document and provided a detailed response. The completed Response Form can be viewed Here. This Response form has to read in conjunction with the attached Supporting Letter, which accompanied the Response form.

The Documents below were referred to within the Supporting Letter:-

Thank you to all Parishioner's who took the time to respond to this important consultation.

 

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 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.

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.


Development of land off Fulford Hall Road - Tidbury Green Farm


October 2013Outline Planning Application submitted for residential development of up to 190 dwellings with associated infrastructure, including means of access, sustainable Drainage System and open space.  Planning Application number 2013/1705.

The application by LionCourt Homes was rejected by the Planning Committee on 30th January 2014. The land at the time was defined as green belt land within the Solihull Local Plan and the development was considered inappropriate.

As detailed above, a legal challenge was submitted to the High Court, by Gallagher Estates (Lowbrook Farm) and LionCourt Homes (Tidbury Green Farm). They claimed that the land at the sites they control should not be have been returned to Green belt and that Solihull's Plan was flawed in the way that it was put together.

The judgement to the High Court appeal made by Gallagher Estates and LionCourt Homes, 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.

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

SMBC asked the judge for permission to appeal his decision and that was been refused. However SMBC applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.

On the 16th July 2014 the Parish Council received notification that Lion Court Homes had appealed the decision to refuse Planning Application Number 2013/1705 - Outline Planning Application to build up to 190 at Tidbury Green Farm.

Following the submission of the appeal Tidbury Green Parish Council submitted further written representation, detailing why they object to the proposal.

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.

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.

Given that the only argument that Solihull MBC used to refuse the application was the green belt and the fact that this is no longer the case, SMBC made the decision, not to contest the appeal. The Planning Inspector held a 2 day public inquiry on 9th April to consider the appeal.

Tidbury Green Parish Council attended the public inquiry in April 2015 and presented a statement providing views and arguments against the proposal to build 190 homes. The Parish council felt that all relevant points including sustainability, scale, drainage and traffic volumes were discussed and given full consideration by the Planning Inspector.

During the Public Inquiry the appellants submitted additional documentation, including a defence document, responding to statements raised by objectors. The Planning Inspector provided the Parish Council and others with an opportunity to respond to the documents.

The Parish Council worked hard to gather evidence and develop a detailed report, supported by information gathered to demonstrate poor sustainability credentials of Tidbury Green. This report was submitted to the Planning Inspector.

 

In the August 2015 Tidbury Green Parish Council Parish Newsletter (August 2015), there were updates regarding the Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green Farm undecided planning appeals. At that time we were advised that the Planning Inspector dealing with the Tidbury Green Farm appeal, had submitted his final report to the Secretary of State for him to make a decision.


The Parish Council believed that to ensure consistency of decision making and due consideration of the cumulative impacts of the proposals, that the decision should have been deferred until the Secretary of State had the Lowbrook Farm report available,  and a  decision on both proposal should then have been reached at the same time.

The Parish Council has wrote the attached letter to Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP and recommended that if Parishioners supported the views, that they also write to Rt Hon Caroline Spelman, requesting that she lobbied the Secretary of State. Attached are the Map and Report referred to within the Parish Council’s letter submitted to Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP.

Despite this and all other efforts to oppose this proposal  the Parish learnt that the appeal brought by LionCourt Homes to build 190 homes succeeded.

The applicant will need to submit a detailed planning application providing specifics of the proposal, including layout and design details. At this point the Parish Council will review the plans and proposals in depth and provide appropriate feedback to SMBC. Whilst this is not the desired outcome the Parish Council believe that they should work to contribute and help shape the design of the development and aim to achieve some benefits for the community.


Latest Update

 


The Parish Council were extremely disappointed to hear that the appeal brought by LionCourt Homes to build 190 homes succeeded.

The applicant will need to submit a detailed planning application providing specifics of the proposal, including layout and design details. At this point the Parish Council will review the plans and proposals in depth and provide appropriate feedback to SMBC. Whilst this is not the desired outcome the Parish Council believe that they should work to contribute and help shape the design of the development and aim to achieve some benefits for the community.

 

Development of Land at Lowbrook Farm

 

October 2012Outline Planning Application - Submitted Planning Application Number 2012/1627.

Public Consultation leaflet

The Solihull MBC Planning Committee meeting on 16th January 2013 was attended by 30 Tidbury Green residents and both the Chair of the Parish Council, Peter Seddon, and Borough Ward Councillor Ken Hawkins addressed the meeting, speaking against the development. A final decision on the outline planning application was deferred for two weeks  pending legal counsel’s guidance as to the soundness of the reasons for refusal.

SMBC Planning Committee minutes for 16th January 2013 - see item 7

30th January 2013: Solihull MBC Planning Committee decided 6 to 3 to reject the application to build at Lowbrook Farm.

SMBC Planning Committee minutes for 30th January 2013 - item 7.

February 2013:  The applicants to build 200 homes at Lowbrook Farm appealed SMBC’s decision for refusal.  The appeal can be found at the Planning Portal and inserting the appeal case number 2192128.

June 2013

The Appeal Inquiry took place at the Council House, Solihull on Wednesday 12th June 2013.

August 2013

Due to the illness of one of the barristers the inquiry did not see the completion of all required work. Consequently the inquiry was scheduled to be reconvened on the 6th and 9th September 2013.

October 2013

The Inquiry reconvened and was completed on the 6th and 9th September 2013.

 

As detailed above, a legal challenge was submitted to the High Court, by Gallagher Estates (Lowbrook Farm) and LionCourt Homes (Tidbury Green Farm). They claimed that the land at the sites they control should not be have been returned to Green belt and that Solliull's Plan was flawed in the way that it was put together.

The judgement to the High Court appeal made by Gallagher Estates and LionCourt Homes, was made public on the 1st May 2014. The appeal succeeded on 2 of the 3 grounds raised against Solihull MBC, which relate to 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.

Besides paragraphs in the Solihull Local Plan dealing with housing numbers that were deleted, the paragraph relating to the two sites in Tidbury Green that were to have been returned to the Green Belt has also been deleted. SMBC stressed at this point 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 been refused. However SMBC applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.

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

 

Whilst the Legal Challenge was taking place, the report from the Lowbrook Farm Planning Inspector was delayed. Solihull tried to argue that the decision should be further delayed whilst their application to appeal the judges decision is pending. Gallaghers, the Lowbrook Farm developers, argued against any further delay and the Planning Inspectorate agreed with them.

 

The Planning Inspector  asked the parties who attended the Inquiry hearing if they would like to make any written comments about the then recently published government Planning Policy Guidance (PPG). The Parish Council made a submission in response to the invite.

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.

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.

The appeal hearing was re-opened on 9th June 2015, so that the Planning Inspector could consider the updated position resulting from the material changes in circumstances since September 2013, in advance of a decision being reached regarding the proposed development.  The Parish Council were advised that the only matter that would be discussed was housing land supply. As the Parish Council had never submitted any comments relating to this matter they decided not to submit any representation to the inquiry.

At the June 2015 meeting evidence was submitted from the appellant and CRP, who oppose the proposal. Solihull did address the inquiry, but did present all of their evidence. The Planning Inspector decided to re-open the inquiry on the 15th September at Solihull Moors FC, Autotech Stadium, Damson Parkway. It was anticipated the appeal hearing will last 2 days.

Again the Plannng Inspectors Office advised that the only matter that will be discussed is housing land supply, so consequently the Parish Council did not offer any representing.

The Parish Council, with the kind help of Peter Seddon, updated and submitted the sustainability report, originally submitted for Tidbury Green Farm as there was a lot of valuable evidence and information contained within the report which is relevant to the Lowbrook Farm appeal. The Parish Council  requested that the Planning Inspector considered this report as part of his decision making process.

 

Unfortunately the Planning Inspector did not accept the sustainability report which the Parish Council submitted. As detailed above this was the report that was originally produced for the Tidbury Green Farm Planning appeal, but later updated for Lowbrook Farm. The reason for refusing the Parish Councils request was that the Planning Inspector only wants to discuss Housing Land Supply at this point.

The Planning Appeal Inquiry took place on the 15th and 16th September 2015. Councillor Farr attended on behalf of the Parish Council. He advised that SMBC offered detailed, quality arguments to defend their views. They presented a five year housing supply to the Inquiry.

On the 8th October 2015 the Parish Council were advised that, following the closure of the Inquiry, the Inspector is now preparing his report and recommendation for submission to the Secretary of State for his consideration. In accordance with Schedule 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act the Secretary of State will issue his decision on or before 10th February 2016.


Latest Update

The Planning Appeal Inquiry was reconvened on the 15th and 16th September 2015. Councillor Farr attended on behalf of the Parish Council. He advised that SMBC offered detailed, quality arguments to defend their views. They presented a five year housing supply to the Inquiry.

On the 8th October 2015 the Parish Council were advised that, following the closure of the Inquiry, the Inspector was preparing his report and recommendation for submission to the Secretary of State for his consideration. we were also advised that In accordance with Schedule 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act the Secretary of State would issue his decision on or before 10th February 2016.

During January 2016 the Parish Council wrote to the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP and the Secretary of State requesting that the inquiry be reopened or alternatively the decision be delayed until the Solihull Local Plan Review is completed. Reason for this request included the fact that since June 2013 interested parties have not had an opportunity to express their views as any inquiry hearings since this date had focused only on 5 year housing supply matters. The Parish Council believe that changes have occurred including those relating to transport accessibility since June 2013 and we should have an opportunity to raise and discuss these matters.

The Parish Council also advised that they believe that if a decision was reached and the Lowbrook Farm appeal was allowed. that this could potentially influence the outcome of the available options within the solihull Review.

The Parish Council received correspondence from the Department for Communities and Local Government, advising that a decision would not be available by the original target date of the 10th February 2016 and that they hope to be in a position to issue a decision as soon as possible.

 


 

 
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