Residents of Cheswick Green will be aware of the public consultation undertaken by Bloor Homes prior to their formal planning application to build as many as 220 new homes on land off Tanworth Lane. To aid readers of this website the leaflet distributed by Bloor Homes is posted here: Tanworth Lane Leaflet
There is some history for the site which, apparently, was to have been built on many years ago but the then developer went into administration. The land was subsequently set aside as ‘safeguarded land’, in many development policies adopted by Solihull Council. This means that the land could be used for development of homes or even be returned to the green belt. This remained the case until recently when the council published its Local Development Plan (http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Attachments/Solihull_Draft_Local_Plan_Sept_2012.pdf ). This plan undertook wide consultation and is now before the Planning Inspectorate has held a public inquiry a few months ago. It is probable the plan, known as the LDP, will be formally adopted later this year, hopefully in autumn.
The issue that affects Cheswick Green is that, if the plan is formally adopted, the land is likely to be developed for housing. There are though conditions stipulated in the LDP: firstly the land has been identified for release for development from the year 2023; also there should be a proportion of land for the provision of open space and there should be flood attenuation measures. In fact, the LDP states ‘…only half of the site will be released for development’. It is here the proposals, as published by Bloor Homes and consulted upon, in my view fail.
The design for so many homes (220) does not leave much land for use as recreational land and open space. It is also the case, I feel, that the land that has been identified as open space is not good quality land and part of it has been liable for flooding from the brook at the bottom of the field (the other side which are the rear gardens of Willow Drive). Furthermore, although flood measures are evident, the proposals do not reduce the risk of flooding for homes in Willow Drive. When I questioned the lead representative from Pegasus Group (agents for Bloor Homes) about flood risks I was informed ‘It shouldn’t make things worse’. This was not the answer I wanted to hear; I wanted any development to be able to satisfy residents from Willow Drive and Coppice Walk that development of this site will make things far better. The proposals, as they stand now, fail completely in this regard and will be objected to by myself.
I am writing to Bloor Homes to not submit a formal planning application until the LDP has been formally adopted. I am supportive of Cheswick Green parish Council in this respect. Only once the LDP is clearly accepted can development of the scale shown in the plan, for the whole of the borough, can go ahead. Any prospective development in Blythe Ward needs to take into consideration potential development in Tidbury Green, Dickens Heath and Cheswick Green, additionally looking at time scales for release of land so that development is incremental and does not come all at once.
One further point is the number of places at Cheswick Green Primary School. The school is a ‘two form entry’ and has few spare places; therefore the circumstances may arise that children living at any development on Tanworth Lane may not be able to attend their local school.
There is an e-petition or two about the proposals but in reality there is nothing to object to at the moment – they are only proposals for a public consultation. Additionally, any petition arranged now will not be a lawful petition for planning objection purposes, especially if details in the formal planning application differ from the public consultation.
Once a formal planning application is presented to the local authority I shall update this website accordingly, having details of the application. I have posted some views of the site: these were taken from Tanworth Lane and Coppice Walk.