Solihull’s planning committee sees the below application before it at its meeting on Wednesday 1 February. The application reads: Erection of 54 dwellings following the granting of outline permission 2014/1163/S (PL/2014/01985/OLM) for 220 dwellings for land at Tanworth Lane, Cheswick Green, Solihull. The report to committee can be read via this link: http://eservices.solihull.gov.uk/mgInternet/documents/s44904/Report%20By%20The%20Head%20Of%20Development%20Control%20Regulatory%20Management%20-%20PL201602759PPFL.pdf
In brief, permission was given for 220 homes a year or so ago and Bloor Homes seek to add an additional 54 homes to the total allowed previously.
I previously commented about the application in a post in November last year and details of this post can be read via this link: https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2016/11/17/mount-dairy-farm-application-for-an-addition-54-homes/ I repeat some of this information here but also add the report from planning officers to the planning committee.
Planning officers have recommended the application be approved. You will find that approval had been given subject to conditions and an undertaking in respect of Section 106 funding – these can be found in the report, which can be read here: report-by-the-head-of-development-control-regulatory-management-pl201602759ppfl
A strength of the application (as far as planning and development is concerned) is the increase in the numbers of homes on the site does not:
- Increase the development footprint; or
- Pose the loss of any open space or landscaping on the site.
This can be seen via the photograph shown above, which shows the footprint of the new application against the original. This has been achieved by a reduction in the provision of 4 and 5 bed houses and these plots will instead be used to deliver much needed 2 and 3-bed houses. The delivery of smaller house types much needed in the Borough carries significant weight. It is very evident the planning inspectorate would recognise this if objections to the application resulted in its refusal locally. Basically any appeal would likely succeed with costs being awarded against the council.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL):
Planning polices from Central Government always seem to coerce, if not direct, local authorities to agree to more development. One good aspect that has accompanied these directives has been the focus on CIL. Here, local communities will be expected to see a benefit to address any negative impact and provide funds to help fulfil strands of any local neighbourhood plan.
The comments re CIL in the report are as follows:
The Council adopted the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule at Full Council on 12th April 2016. The launch date of CIL was 4th July 2016 and the proposal would be liable for the charge if planning permission is granted. This would amount to a levy of £ 418,350 based on the contribution rate for new residential dwellings in a ‘rural area’ location (£150 sq.m.).
I believe the stance of Cheswick Green Parish Council is balanced and their comments can be found in the report. I will be seeking a substantial commitment to the use of CIL funding to help the parish council develop its neighbourhood plan.
One final comment I feel I need to add is this; if these 54 homes do not go here, on a site that has already seen approval given for 220 homes, and without any extra incursion into green fields or open space, the pressure to accommodate these houses somewhere else in the borough/ward would likely follow.