This has always been an interesting application and one I have reported on three occasions on my website, with links to the site via additional Facebook group messages (see below for links to these pages).
The proposal is before Solihull Planning Committee tomorrow and the officers report can be viewed via this link: http://eservices.solihull.gov.uk/mgInternet/documents/s52979/PL201701594MAJFOT%20-%20Report%20by%20the%20Head%20Of%20Development%20and%20Regulatory%20Management.pdf
The Executive Summary (page 1) outlines the site has been allocated for employment in the Local Plan 2013 (and for years before that as well), to help the council in its goals for sustainable economic growth and employment opportunities.
In a nutshell though the applicants have still had to establish special reasons why development on the green belt can be justified. The report by officers suggests they have and the recommendation is for approval subject to certain conditions.
You will read from the report that myself and Caroline Spelman MP made written representations and I met with both the councils and IM Properties planners, facilitating the public consultation held at the school during summer.
My concerns relating to the threat of on-street parking in nearby Elmbridge Drive have been dealt with by the applicants and although I will continue to monitor the situation once the site has been developed I have confidence the applicants (who intend to move onto the site) will address any issues raised with them as a matter of urgency and importance. IM Properties wish to move onto the site because their current headquarters in Coleshill are affected by HS2. It is fair to say the investment in Solihull is seen by economists as a great benefit to the borough and our planning policies are structured for the promotion of housing and employment.
You will read that investment into the extension of the country park, realigning a footpath away from the rear of houses in Elmbridge Drive and other investment to promote the ecology of the area has been achieved through Section 106 funding.
I have one issue that remains on the table at present and one that can be dealt with away from the planning committee, that is whether Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL Funding) applies to the new development on the green belt land, especially the site that is shown as ‘engine testing/showroom’. I do accept the issue of noise control has been addressed but I have asked the councils solicitors to address the issue of CIL to enquire whether this applies in this development; offices are exempt but I have argued the latter site is not an ‘office’.
Myself and fellow ward Councillor Alex Insley have been actively involved in addressing residents concerns and we have involved local campaigner Jim Butler (who filmed the video in one of the website posts).
Previous website posts:
Website post 26 May: https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2017/05/26/fore-business-park-monkspath/
Website post 9 June: https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2017/06/09/fore-business-park-investment-proposals/
Website post 4 July: https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2017/07/04/fore-business-park/