Solihull’s Local Development Plan 2013, which planned for development in the borough up to 2023 can be accessed here: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/Planning/LDF/Local_Plan_Final.pdf
We now find ourselves planning for 2028 and beyond and this comes under the heading of Local Plan Review. More details about this can be found on the councils website: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/lpr
Earlier this year there was a ‘Call for Sites’ where landowners and developers could put their land for consideration. It is important to stress the word consideration because not every site will be suitable for development and not all sites will be put forward for more detailed consideration and adoption. It is also the case that the exact number of extra houses Solihull needs to build is not yet determined. Figures of a minimum of 4,000 new homes have been used by developers and later this summer the numbers arising from our ‘duty to co-operate’ with neighbours will be established. It is therefore essential the borough, like all other local authorities, plan for such development. It is no good closing our ears – planning law demands local authorities catch up with the West Midlands having a 37,000 shortfall in housing. All other local authorities in the region are establishing plans, with Lichfield and parts of Warwickshire accepting the need to build several thousand new homes.
Following the ‘Call for Sites’ the council has published its Evidence Base which identifies every single site put forward within the borough. The website states ‘It should be noted that inclusion of a site at this stage does not indicate any preference by the Council or whether they are considered suitable for development or inclusion in the emerging Local Plan Review’.
The map, which shows over 240 sites put up for consideration can be accessed here: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/Planning/LPR/Call_for_Sites_May_2016_A3_for_website.pdf
A pdf version can be opened here: Call_for_Sites_May_2016_A3_for_website
A photograph of submitted sites in Blythe Ward is shown below:
What happens now?
An appraisal of each site will be prepared and assessed before we move forward to further consultations. It is hoped this will be completed early in Autumn and all assessment will be made public – as this map has been.
It is important not to get (too) concerned about the proposals. How many site to be developed will rely on the exact numbers of new homes we need to identify. Some sites have no doubt been submitted as wishful thinking by land owners whilst others have to be considered more seriously.
It is no secret that Solihull Council has identified the need for a Garden City near the anticipated High Speed Two interchange station in Bickenhill and this may realise us meeting some 2,000 homes. From the map this looks like site 132.
As a ward councillor I will be liaising with the parish councils in Dickens Heath, Cheswick Green and Tidbury Green.