Friday, 14 October 2011

Dorridge homes appeal fails

A LONG standing battle to put three homes on the site of a Dorridge house and its garden has failed on appeal.


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Two plans for Avenue Road (above) and Spring Coppice Drive have been rejected by The Planning Inspectorate.

A plan by Andrew Robinson to knock down 62 Avenue Road for two, six-bedroom properties was rejected in January by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

A revised scheme which reduced the height of both properties and reduce the footprint of one was then rejected in March because of the “loss of … spacious character”.

Planning inspector Roger Pritchard has now upheld the council’s decision.

He found: “ I consider the insertion of two, more closely spaced properties would stand out and result in a breach in the prevailing character that would represent significant material harm.”

He said he took into account the applicant’s referral to controversial Government proposals to change the planning system, which would give a presumption in favour of “sustainable” plans.

Mr Prichard said: “However, this document is still in draft form and could be changed as a result of the consultation process. I have afforded little weight to it.”

Yet he said it was “unfortunate” the council lost the file for the January decision, meaning residents’ objections had been lost. But many responded to the second plan, he said.

Some 26 letters and emails opposed the plan with concerns about overdevelopment and impact on the “character and feeling of spaciousness of the area”

One said: “It looks like an elephant in a room.”

Part of the garden, fronting cul-de-sac Spring Coppice Drive, was sold in 2008 and a plan for a detached house and basement (below) was rejected by the council in April.


While Mr Pritchard said it was acceptable for a property to go on the site – and permission exists for a bungalow –the plan would “have a substantial impact on the street scene”.

It would “dominate the street scene in a manner that severely undermines the spacious character and appearance of the immediate area”.

The proposed home would occupy “too great a proportion of the plot, thereby presenting a cramped and overcrowded appearance”.

The space from neighbouring 1a “would be insufficient to maintain the character and appearance of the area” he found.

A further plan which proposed a smaller house was submitted to the council and refused in August.

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