The Solihull Local Plan saga continues, with Public Examination throwing up some concerning twists and turns
How are things looking?
In short, very worrying. As it stands currently, Hearing sessions, held in front of the Government-appointed Inspector, have thrown huge uncertainty on possible outcomes for the two large development sites proposed in KDBH. Basic issues relating to land ownership, as identified in our Forum consultation response, have come strongly to the fore – to the extent that Council proposals for both sites are in serious jeopardy. Consequently, there is a real risk that new housing could be built, but without the associated community benefits that, since day one, have been central to the proposals.
The bids for funding for local community projects have been assessed by the KDBH Forum and passed to the Council for their decision as to which will be given grants from money raised through levies on local developments.The Forum’s commentson the bids can be found at :- https://www.kdbh-np.org/2021-22-bids.
The new owners of the Knowle Precinct held a display of their initial ideas a few weeks ago. For those unable to visit, here are some of the images displayed:-
There is a very long way to go before we see any changes on the ground. The project team have to react to comments made by Knowle Society, tenants and the public, revise the scheme, undergo further consultation and submit a planning application which will be very carefully scrutinised and, if it is approved, appoint contractors. Comments can be made at this stage to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will know that the Council has been preparing a new ‘Local Development Plan’ for some time. It is now in the early stages of public hearings by the Planning Inspectorate’s appointed Inspector.
All persons who might be affected by the Plan, as well as local organisations, were entitled to submit comments on the plan and to make suggestions for modifications during the recent public consultation period. The Society, through its Planning Committee, has spent considerable time reviewing before submitting our objections to the Plan. It has been cooperating with the Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath Neighbourhood Forum, which is a statutory body and has the benefit of its Neighbourhood Plan. Working together, it has become clear that the Society and the Forum have the same concerns about the impact of the Plan on Knowle and about the effectiveness of the Plan now adopted by the Council as Policy. Consideration has been given to the best way of putting our points across to the Inspection to achieve the best outcome. The Society has decided that this would be for the Forum to present all the points, while recording that the Society is in complete agreement with them and has given its full support to the Forum. We will therefore not be making an individual submission.
Proposals have been published of some changes to the boundary of Meriden Constituency, among others. For further details see:-www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on 2 August 2021. Comments can be made on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are, to the names of the constituencies.
There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2022. Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the Commission will look at all the evidence received before forming its final recommendations.