The Knowle Society’s view on various marina proposals

Several proposals for a marina on the Grand Union canal in Knowle have been doing the rounds in recent months – our Planning sub-committee gives a view on these proposals. One of these, the proposal for a Marina off Stripes Hill behind Wyndley Garden Centre has now (April 2008) been submitted as an Outline Planning Application. Comments are invited from members using the Society’s new Forum – link to it from the home page.

For some time now, there has been talk of the possibility of the construction of a marina in Knowle to serve the many boat owners who use the canals locally. The first the planning sub-committee got to hear of this was over a year ago when it was intimated that landowners and British Waterways were considering submitting an application affecting land lying approximately west of the canal at the locks and behind Wyndley garden centre.

At first glance we thought this was ill-conceived and intrusive in the Green Belt but on reflection, and bearing in mind the slightly more lenient way that leisure facilities are treated in the Green Belt, we felt it was at least worthy of some consideration. If a case can be made that such a facility is needed by boat owners in Knowle, then this may be the best place for it. It would be at least near the area most associated with boats in Knowle and the fields in question are not the most scenic or necessarily particularly wildlife friendly. Nonetheless, we would certainly wish to keep ‘our powder dry’ on this one pending any application.

The next area we heard was being considered was the field next to the canal at the bottom of Kixley Lane. The owner requested a meeting with the planning committee to discuss his plans but was told that he would be wasting his time. In our view this spot is totally unsuited for such a large development. Kixley Lane is the oldest ‘street’ in Knowle being at least 700 years old and is now narrow and unsuitable for the inevitable increase in traffic.

Lastly at the present time is the proposition which many Knowle residents will know about, having been the subject of a public exhibition at the ‘Greswolde’ in February. The proposal would affect land at the bottom of the continuation of Jacobean Lane by the side of the bridge near Grove Farm. The plan would involve the construction of an access way from Jacobean Lane and would mostly affect residents of that lane and Wychwood Avenue. There has already been considerable campaigning locally and I think it fair to say that the people living nearest to the site have, as would be expected, been most vociferous in their opposition.

Initially it was intimated that the proposal would be submitted at the end of February or beginning of March but time has gone on and perhaps the applicants are having a re-think. Certainly the planning sub-committee will only make up their minds as to their attitude when the final plans are submitted. In the meantime, should any member or indeed any Knowle resident have views on the matter please feel free to contact Peter Ewin, chairman of planning of the Society.

Pictures of the Jacobean Lane area subject of a recent canal marina proposal


A public presentation by developers was held at the Greswolde Hotel recently in which plans for a possible marina on the canal at Jacobean Lane were on display. The Society’s photographer offers pictures of the area involved and an aerial view to help to relate the views.

Views 1, 2 and 3 look from the bridge on the footpath over the canal directly onto the area proposed for a new marina of 140 narrow-boat berths, parking for 50 vehicles and a small facilities block (toilets and washing). View 4 looks across the field on which a new access road would run from Jacobean Lane (not exactly along the line of the arrow we show). View 5 looks along the existing path from Grove Farm towards the marina’s entrance at the end of an access road – this path would remain unchanged. View 6 shows the entrance to Grove Farm which has no direct relevance to the proposal but helps to appreciate the location. These pictures do not attempt to give any impression of the proposed marina but only to show the existing location.

Public Meeting re. proposed Marina

The Knowle Society has been made aware of a public meeting to be held at the Greswolde Hotel, Knowle on Tuesday 29th January from 11.30-20.30 in respect of a proposed development of a marina on the canal near Jacobean Lane. The Society’s Planning sub-Committee will also be given a separate opportunity to view and discuss the plans directly with the developers.

Application by Murco for Licence to sell alcohol

Letter from The Knowle Society’s chairman to the Residents of Cook Close regarding a licence application at the Murco garage.


December 2007

Residents in Kenilworth Road,
Cook Close, and Wilsons Road

Dear Resident

Licence Application by Murco, Kenilworth Road.

You may be aware that Murco have lodged an application for a licence to sell alcohol at their garage, which is known as Jet, between the hours of 8.00 am and 11.00 pm.

The date for any more objections has now elapsed, but Knowle Society managed to have an objection lodged just in time.

For the objection to be accepted by the Licensing Authority the Society needs the support of as many residents as possible that will be affected by the granting of such a licence.

The grounds for the objection are two fold. Namely: 1. The safety of children. The granting of a licence would mean that alterations will be carried out at the garage obviously incorporating having an attractive window display, probably incorporating childrens items and toys. This would mean that children will want to leave vehicles on the forecourt in order to enter the shop with a view to viewing the goods being advertised. This will be a potential danger to those children. In addition there is already a major problem with under-age drinking in and around the centre of the village and the park. This garage is on a side road and will attract such youngsters to pester adults to purchase alcohol for them. This means that they will be close to several vehicle movements, thereby putting themselves at risk. In addition of course as nearby residents you may well be disturbed by children gathering in your area. 2. Public Safety. It is incongruous for a garage to have a licence to sell alcohol. Surely this sends the wrong message concerning drinking and driving. H M Government has recently confirmed that no licence application will be considered for any Motorway Service Area to sell alcohol. That message must be maintained at a local level as well.

The date for the hearing is not yet known, but your support is requested to support the Societys application urgently. Please telephone 01564 779955 and leave your name, address and contact number. Thank you.

Gary Masters


January 2007.

38 Stourton Close
West Midlands
B93 9NP

Dear Friend

Licence Application by Murco Garage, Kenilworth Road.

The Hearing by the Solihull M B C Licensing Committee was held on Thursday 21 December 2006 in the Council Chambers at 6.00 pm.

The Applicants were represented by a barrister who put the case for his clients that the garage unit would be redeveloped as a Costcutter Express outlet, incorporating the sale of mixed provisions and alcohol. He then answered questioned raised by the three man panel. It was followed by the objectors in the shape of Inspector Peter Wilson for West Midlands Police, Councillor Jeff Potts representing the ward, and me representing Knowle Society and the residents who had raised their concerns. In turn we were also questioned.

The panel retired to reach their verdict, and eventually at 8.40 pm returned to state that the licence would be granted for the hours of Monday to Saturday 6.00 am to 11.00 pm, and on Sunday 7.00 am to 10.00 pm, with certain conditions. These are:

  • That full CCTV is reinstalled in full consultation with the local Rural Police Inspector before trading in alcohol. Such CCTV footage is retained for a period of 30 days.
  • After 10 00 pm the entrance door to the station be locked and any transactions to be made through a secure serving hatch.

It is now required that the outlet comply with the conditions imposed and that any problem be reported to the police and the Licensing Officer at the Council. Please bear this in mind over the period when the new-look is in operation.

Perhaps next time the objectors case will be more successful.

Gary Masters

Proposed new care homes on ‘Parkridge’ site

The Planning sub-committee of The Knowle Society was approached by Sunrise Senior Living, a Care Home Company started in the U.S.A. Sunrise has twelve homes in the U.K. including one in Edgbaston and one opened recently in Solihull. The company has now acquired the 2.2 acre site on Warwick Road formerly belonging to Parkridge builders. It tells us it has signed an unconditional contract and intended to complete the purchase in August 2007.

Sunrise held a public meeting in the Greswolde Hotel early in 2007 to explain the proposals to all and sundry and to answer any questions and to listen to comments. Depending on the outcome, it will then go to planning and if successful, intends to start on a 17 month building programme late this year.

The idea is to erect two buildings on the site, the one on the left (south) side to be a 60 bed residential home and the one on the north side to be a 50 bed nursing home. The professed ethos of the company is to provide an up-market care home with catering on a hotel basis at a cost for the residential home approaching double that of other homes in the area. The homes are aimed at people who have substantial insurance policies covering the position or substantial funds of their own.

The one big plus that can be seen at this stage is that we will not be facing the building of the mini-roundabout which was a feature of the Parkridge plans.