LOWBROOK FARM, TIDBURY GREEN

Many residents in or near to Lowbrook Lane, Tidbury Green have received a leaflet from Gallagher Estates/Pegasus Planning Group informing them of a ‘public consultation’ relating to the development of land known as Lowbrook Farm, off Lowbrook Lane.

Pegagsus Planing Group are holding an  exhibition at Tidbury reen Village Hall on Friday and Saturday (11 and 12 May. I have added here a scanned copy of the leaflet sent to some residents of Tidbury Green: IMG

NO formal planning application has been made to date but it can be reasonably expected that one will follow in due course. Having said that, the developers have a big obstacle to overcome because this site is not included in Solihull (Draft) Local Development Plan. I have attached a PDF file which relates to land in Tidbury Green that was discussed as part of the local plan but all sites were dismissed. The site in question is site number 16 in the report and reasons for excluding the site from the local plan are clearly explained. TidburyGreen

For those who are not too certain of the local area I have posted a few photographs:

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23 thoughts on “LOWBROOK FARM, TIDBURY GREEN

  1. As a resident of Tidbury Green for nearly nine years now, I originally wanted to move here as it was a fabulous small,semi rural village with a great community spirit and everyone knew each other and traffic wasn’t an issue!
    I was actually mortified when I received a leaflet informing me that Lowbrook Farm may be dissected into more houses that we really do not need in this area as:
    A: Dickens Heath Village less than a mile from Lowbrook has many types of houses on the market that are for sale and in this climate are not selling anyway
    B: Lowbrook Lane is a cut through for commuters from the M42 to Shirley/Solihull and beyond and in peak times the traffic at the Tidbury Green Garage crossroads and the junction at Norton lane and Lowbrook Lane are manageable but quite high in volume of traffic so if the proposed buildings went ahead, this would mean a greater volume of traffic, making it dangerous in my opinion for the residents of Tidbury Green.
    Just to summarise, although I am not adverse to change and progression, Tidbury Green is one of the few individual, small villages that still have a sense of community spirit and would lose its identity if these planning applications were successful.

  2. Thanks for the comment Lisa. I will urge the agents not to pursue with any planning application as it will be contested. Solihull’s Local Plan is a draft one at the moment but as soon as it has been accepted and submitted to the planning inspectorate wthat should stop applications like this one once and for-all.

  3. I have lived in Tidbury Green for 8 years and live here because of the rural location, perfectly situated to Solihull and within easy driving distance of all ammenaties. My husband and I now have 2 toddlers and are petrified of the traffic ploughing up and down Fulford Hall Road, at speeds of upto 70 miles an hour. NONE of the speed calming teams with their speed guns have helped, with reducing drivers speeds and we have been refused sleeping policemen, on numerous occasions. I have already experienced the horrific situation of one of my dogs being hit by a car on Fulford Hall Road and the potential of increased traffic, because of the Lowbrook Farm Estate, is unimagineable. The ammount of empty properties available in Dickens Heath, for rent and sale is astonishing and the request to build MORE houses on Lowbrook Farm is ridiculous, when so many properties are currently available within one mile of Tidbury Green. Like Lisa Bayley, I am personally appalled at the obvious increase in traffic, in a beautiful, rural and rare village and completely oppose this planning application. Why ruin an area of outstanding beauty with a housing estate.

  4. We have recently moved from dickens Heath to Tidbury green. One of reasons for moving was because dickens Heath has just simply grown too much, parking had become a joke, people are parking wherever they want, school parking is a joke because there are so many parents now coming to the school from other areas. Yes the school could take the new children that live in Tidbury green but you would have to take the car to get there and there is no way that the parking at the school is going to improve. The residents that live by the school are constantly complaining to the school. Also why build new housing elsewhere when dickens Heath has not been finished, why not finish what you have started before going on to the next piece of beautiful green land.

  5. I have commented before, however following further discussion regarding this proposal, with local Tidbury Green residents, a very good question has been raised; WHY not use the parkridge site in Dickens Heath, that is now not going to be developed ? It is the large site opposite the Poison Chalice Bar/restaurant, on Gorcott Lane. It is an eye sore to all residents living in Dickens Heath and cannot surely be left in that state indefinetly. Why develop more houses in an area of beauty and residential tranquility when there is a site ready, one mile up the road.

  6. We live just over the boundary in Hollywood/Wythall, and we have all received the expensively produced pamphlet about the proposal to build housing on Lowbrook Farm. As we are in Bromsgrove District, it would seem that Pegasus is expecting the shock waves from this development to be quite high!

    I have looked on the Tidbury Green proposed building sites and I would guess that the suggested 200 new builds is being very economical with the truth, there is over 19 hectares to play with, and it is likely that 30 to 50 “units” per hectare would be considered, you would not need to be too much of a mathematician to even estimate that there could be double that amount in 5 years time.

    This land is considered a buffer zone between any further development and the green belt, I thought. The extra traffic generated would be too much for the proposed access on Lowbrook Lane, it is already dangerous enough when there are cars parked alongside the narrow lane near the crossroads and there have been several bumps at the junction with Norton Lane at the other end. You can only imagine that at school times it would be similar to trying to access or exit the NEC car park when there is a popular exhibition on! There is hardly a regular bus service, nor any car parking at Wythall Station (yet!!), it would not be safe for children to walk or cycle to any of the local schools, even if the schools could cope with the influx.

    The land is surely not suitable for such a development, what about the flooding issues ?
    We are almost cut off by lanes being flooded after rainfall, the very name shows you that it is a wet area (Lowbrook ???). The peace and quiet which the residents are fiercely trying to protect, the wildlife disruption, and the sheer cost of making the land suitable to build on would make the whole project unviable, yet another get rich quick scheme for the already rich developers ?

    As previous people have commented, there are still so many unsold properties on Dickens Heath Estate, just where are all these hypothetical people who will want to buy on Lowbrook Farm if they are not buying elsewhere ? This proposal is not needed and would destroy so much of our necessary and beautiful green space.

  7. I am very pleased to see that Councillor Hawkins is being so pro-active so early on in this process and as a resident of Tidbury Green/Lowbrook Lane I am strongly opposed to this development for reasons I have listed below.

    My letter arrived like every one else’s I guess, a week prior to the so called “consultation” meeting and caught me completely cold. I contacted the Chair of our elected Parish Council to seek his advice only to be told that this was the first he knew of this meeting or development! This is the first disservice Pegasus has done Tidbury Green I.e. by not communicating with our elected body. Their intention is clearly to rail road the submission through!

    When I challenged Pegasus’s personnel on this issue I was firstly told that the LPC were aware and when I pressed with the facts that they were not, they then implied that due to the local elections they were not sure who would be elected so they thought it better to have their consultation first so that they would have a more informative meeting with both the LPC and Ward councillors.

    I asked “as no one could predict the election outcome and as the elections were not actually a surprise why they had not decided to postpone the consultation meeting” The answer given was that they had already printed the leaflets and booked the hall!!

    I then asked “when do Gallager intend to submit planning permission” The answer given by their Pegasus was possibly June although they did not know what level the planning application would be.

    Pegasus were unable to answer my questions regarding how many houses were to be built also they were unable to answer what type of dwellings were proposed! When pushed and asked were they flats like Dickens Heath they stated “I should not think so, probably nice big ones like those already on Lowbrook Lane”

    I had like most residents counted the house blocks on the plan and estimated around 100 homes and therefore possibly 200/300 cars using this single access point

    I then spoke to their Transport consultant about my concerns, who clearly was not factually prepared for this meeting or indeed anticipated or understood the issues residents of TG may have with these proposals.
    Her response was that” statistics show that the single entrance/exit was deemed to be more than adequate” I see Counsellor Hawkins believes the number of dwellings to be closer to 200/300, (400/600cars)!!

    I stated that the only entrance and exit to the new village was very badly placed being relatively close to the bend and with an already manic traffic problem for a small village. Also that TG had become a rabbit run from Solihull and Dickens Heath to the M42. Her reply was that is why they were having the “consultation” so that villagers could educate the committee!

    Furthermore she stated that she had asked for accident statistics from the police as well as a traffic survey commissioned by Pegasus for which she waited the results. Why did they not wait until they had the results of the necessary information before approaching the village community, I suggest the answer is in their rush to submit the planning application to Solihull prior to the LDP being finalised!! The Pegasus response to this whole issue was very blasé although she did say they could consider traffic calming or a mini roundabout!

    Questioned on what the private road key meant I was informed that it was not actually a private road but a traffic calming system either with different coloured tarmac or raised paved areas like Dickens Heath. Clearly they have not visited Dickens Heath to look as the state of disrepair of these raised block roads!

    Who has access to the planned local park? Gave the answer, well I guess the new village as well as existing TG residents. When asked how they would gain access I was told “isn’t there a local foot path for dog walkers at the bottom of the village” NO!

    How about car access/parking for disabled local residents? Well we do not assume people would drive to this park it is more of a dog walking type park.

    The issue that dismays me the most is that Residents I have spoken to believe that the outcome is a forgone conclusion and that Solihull will simply endorse the application, either this year or next. This is a sad indictment of our planning authority albeit probably true!

    I could not quite make my mind up as to whether the Pegasus consultants were truly incompetent or whether they were cleverly providing misinformation saturated with vagueness! Just glad they do not work for me.

    Grant.

    1. As a TG resident, I would be happy for Grant Harbert to represent the village, as the spokesperson, as an individual who experiences, on a daily basis, the difficulties we already experience, with the traffic issues. Each and every point he akes, is factual and pertinent. I just pray and hope that this planning bill will not be pushed through, as Mr Harbert suggests. There is already massive potential for sales of apartmants in Dickens Heath, as well as a prepared site (by Parkridge homes who are now in liquidation). Why not use this and leave Lowbrook Farm and the local residents alone. This development will cause congestion, mayhem and carnage for everyone in the local area.. THANKYOU Mr Harbert for your excellent contribution.

  8. Some excellent comments here, thank you very much.

    I am pretty sure a formal planning application will follow; the representatives at the exhibition mentioned that to me when I stated my opposition. I think that a local meeting is not really neccessary until we have more information; we need to know thje precise nature of the application.

    As several people have mentioned, there is capacity in Dickens Heath right now, but the local plan takes into account the needs for the next 15 years AND our (draft) local does this. This is a rouge application and they know it. I am sure it will be refused locally.

  9. I read with concern your comments and agree with all of them, As I live in Bentley Heath adjacent to a site proposed by Pegasus Planing Group on behalf of the builders Crest Nicholson SW (The site known as land off Four Ashes Road) ,perhaps my observations may be of use,Pegasus planning group adopted a similar consultation?? process a flyer well presented but very misleading and sent I think to 1450 homes within the area compared to Solihull MBC neighbours planning notification about 12 properties. The figures in their application 2012-1914 therefore show reduced percentages for their results against the application. Sweeping statements of generalisation in the leaflet include ‘there is a shortage of housing in Solihull to meet future requirements” , “careful consideration has been given to scale, density,form and layout of the development to ensure that it is in character with the local area”,”existing trees and hedgerows will be retained protecting the landscape attributes of the site” all these are very debatable!! In their documentation to SMBC inaccuracies include the heights of nearby properties ,incorrectly named roads are shown on plans ,some photographs do not relate to the site, in all it appears as if they are rushing the application through whilst deliberations are ongoing with the governments National Frame work,and SMBC compiling the Local Development Framework.council election results,plus expected changes in legislation. Also of note is that for any query’s the Pegasus planning group contact is Joanne Hedgeley , I would assume this person has an abundance of knowledge as she sits on the Solihull Housing Land Availability Assessment panel with other interested parties which advise on the sites and proposed availability and in our particular case our site was brought forward to phase 1 (up to 2018) and not as we were informed in public consultation with SMBC that it would be after 2021(to 2028), Documentation and reports were being compiled in 2010 for this site prior to their application in December 2012. May I also say that in my opinion I regard their attitude to be cavalier and brash . I hope this information is of use and I share your concerns.
    CONCERNED BENTLEY HEATH.

  10. Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article
    together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  11. Many thanks for all your comments. Having met the developers agents with the Parish Council I realise a formal planning application will come in the near future. The agents say this is a commercial decision by the owners – as they are legally entitled to do.

    I do know this application will be dismissed by the councils Planning Committee – it has to because the land forms no part in our local development plan for the next 15 years. We must though ensure we oppose any appliucation vigourously to ensure the subsequent appeal to the Planning Inspectorate fails as well.

    Will keep you informed.

    Best wishes, Ken

  12. This has been an entertaining read. I was not aware of many of the facts
    presented in the article. I have subscribed to your blog site.
    Looking forward to reading more articles from you.

  13. It really is horrendous when a post starts impressive then finishes horrendous.
    Luckily, yours doesn’t do that! Lol, thought I was going to say it ended awful, didn’t you?
    Na, it was excellent through and through.
    Kudos!

  14. I understand that the public enquiry is due to begin this coming Thursday.

    Can anyone provide me with details, please.

    1. Hi Stevn, the public inquiry is due to begin at 10am on Wednesday 12 June at the Civic Suite, by the Council House.

      Ken

      1. Ken, Many thanks. I read somewhere that I need to register somewhere if I want to speak. Do you have any details, please?

    1. Sorry Ian, I should have updated this post, although I have delivered a few hundred letters in the Lowbrook Lane area. Unfortunately (or not) the counsel for SMBC had to attend hospital urgently on the second day of the enquiry and was not able to continue. A few procedural issues were dealt with and the inquiry will continue on or about 6 September.

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