REVIEW OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

I attended a briefing on 27 July for councillors on the review of the local development plan. This follows on from the ‘Call for sites’ which took place earlier this year. The sites have been submitted by land owners and/or developers who wish their land to be included in the next phase of Solihull’s Local Development Plan (LDP). The current one, adopted in 2013 has been found, via High Court challenge (supported at the Court of Appeal), to necessitate at least an addition 4,000 new homes between now and 2033.

The current LDP runs to 2028 but the next phase will take in on another 5 years. This means the borough already having to identify some 608 dwellings per year (13,336 up to 2033). We have identified a supply of 9,500 within the existing LDP and are required to supply an addition minimum of 4,000 dwelling. This is a minimum and may need adjusting when considering any redistribution for within the region. Many areas are taking their allocation, with districts in Lichfield and Warwickshire taking on thousands between them. It is hoped we can get our final figure by the end of summer. This will be the figure we will need to identify within our LDP up to 2033.

The sites put forward are now being appraised and a preferred option will be published in Autumn this year, going to Solihull Cabinet in November and Council a few weeks later. There will then be published a Pre-Submission Draft in Spring 2017 before an Examination in Public (conducted by a Planning Inspector) during 2017. The council will hope to adopt a revised LDP late in 2017.

How are our housing numbers assessed?

Factors influencing any local authorities housing numbers include Employment Trends; Land and Housing Plans; Rents; Affordability; Overcrowding/suppressed households. The numbers of jobs needed and housing is balanced accordingly.

Any plan put forward must meet three aims. It must be:

 Suitable

Achievable

Deliverable (in both short and long term)

The rider is that if there is an insufficient supply of housing identified then the suitability of land must be adjusted accordingly. This has implications if there are insufficient brown field sites available (as is the case in Solihull).

I will report back following a further briefing session in September.

Call for sites:

I have posted this before but here is a map of all sites put forward for consideration only (note the emphasis on consideration).Call_for_Sites_May_2016_A3_for_website        I have also posted a document giving more detail as to who owns the land , who is putting it forward and providing more details as to the location of the sites. Schedule_of_Call_for_Sites_Submissions

Further information about the process can be found on the councils website http://www.solihull.gov.uk

A few personal thoughts:

Saying ‘NO’ to any more development is not an option. With at least 37,000 shortfall in houses in the region Solihull will have to take its share. We can bleat about Birmingham and other areas but I hope to be able to show you that Lichfield and Warwickshire are intending to take on several thousand new homes (am searching for the relevant news reports). This resonates with me because my Mom and Dad moved us from Small Heath, Birmingham to Lichfield, on the over-spill, in 1957. I am also conscious that (like many thousands of others) I moved my family from Birmingham to Solihull in the 1980’s when areas like Monkspath, Hillfield and Damson Parkway were built (all on greenbelt land).

 

We have all had our own families in that time and if we do not plan for housing and jobs for our children and their children then they will have been let down – whereas we benefited from the plans of previous decisions.


2 thoughts on “REVIEW OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

  1. Dear Ken

    I wanted to write to firstly say thank you for posting this article, and an even bigger thank you for commenting that saying no to the development plans is not an option. I hate the idea that we are having to build on green belt land, but there really is a housing crisis and at the moment, I can’t foresee any alternative.

    I grew up in Solihull and returned here after university. I’m single, 34 years old, have a good full time job, but I don’t own a house yet. I have been renting in Hillfield for a few years now, where I enjoy the safety of the area, how green it is and the tranquility. But rent prices are increasing year after year and I worry I may be forced to move to a cheaper area soon. I earn over and above the average salary, and so I’m lucky I can live on my own at the moment. On the rare occasion an almost affordable house does come up for sale on Hillfield, it’s usually snapped up within a few days, and then shortly after is up to let. I fear it’s an impossible situation. I think my landlord owns over 100 houses in Solihull.

    I found out about the shared ownership houses in Dorridge View only the other day. I went to have a look and the development is truly amazing. Sadly, the only three houses remaining are next door to the four social housing houses. Without meaning to sound a snob, that small part of the new estate was a disappointment. There were five children on scooters zooming around, two mothers having a conversation by shouting across the road to each other from their front doors, a man was standing by his car that was parked on one of the available house’s driveways, a young chap had a pit bull terrier without a muzzle, all at 8:30pm on a Wednesday….. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture! I want to buy a house in a nice, safe area, and shared ownership is probably the only way I’ll be able to do it, but I work very hard and long hours, and crave the safety and tranquility to go home to.

    And this leads me onto my question: do you know whether the new land development plans for Solihull (and beyond) will include houses on a shared ownership basis?

    Many thanks for reading all of that, and for the good work you do for the people in our local area.

    Best wishes, Louise

    Sent from my iPhone >

    1. All new larger developments will have 40% affordable/rented housing. There are developments in Dickens Heath almost completed (off Rumbush Lane) and also at Cheswick Green.

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