Marinas

Overview
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 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 2008. 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 2008 but time has gone on and perhaps the applicants are having a re-think. Certainly the planning 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 Leighton Jones, chairman of planning of the Society.

Marina (Knowle Locks/Stripes Hill)
Following an exhaustive review of the application for a marina at Stripes Hill Farm, below Knowle Locks, the Society through its planning committee has registered an objection to this application. The grounds for the objection (which have to be on planning grounds) are:-

  • The impact on the Green Belt;
  • Safety concerns over the access to the site off the Warwick Road;
  • Concerns over the indication on the applicant’s website that they already have plans to expand the activities on the site.

We have also requested that the Council considers both this and the Jacobean Lane Marina application together and agrees to no more than one of them. We recognise that their powers to do this are limited at best, but we have made the point.
[This application was rejected by Solihull Council.]

Marina (Jacobean Lane)
On 23rd January 2008 David Keyte and Chris Twomey, respectively planning consultant and architect visited the Society’s Planning Committee chairman to give him a preview of plans to construct a marina in Knowle. This was the subject of a planning consultation by way of an exhibition at the Greswolde Hotel on Tuesday 29th January 2008.

The marina is planned to be built on the canal at its junction with the continuation of Jacobean Lane. If you know the footpath that runs from the canal bridge there past Grove Farm it is planned to be to the left or approximately south of the small pond on the Grove Farm side of the bridge.

It would be inappropriate to comment on the plans until as many as possible have had the chance to look at them but it is certainly an interesting project and the applicants are very keen to involve as many local people as possible in the consultation. Residents of Jacobean Lane and Wychwood Avenue will be most interested as being the nearest to the site but the principle of a marina at all should merit the most careful consideration by all, including of course the planning committee of the Society.
[This application was rejected by Solihull Council.]