Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Refuse Hockley Heath homes plan, officer urges

PLANS for six homes on Green Belt paddock in Hockley Heath must be refused tonight, a council planning officer has said.

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The scheme for six detached homes between Stratford Road and Nuthurst Lane with access off Stratford Road would damage the countryside, they said in a report.

The plan would “erode the rural character and openness of the site to a degree that its function and overall appearance would be unacceptably harmed as a result”.

It said the site “serves to check the unrestricted sprawl of the village into the countryside beyond, and similarly it assists in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment”.

And it said access to Stratford Road would be obscured by vegetation.

The applicant pointed to controversial Government reforms which will make a presumption in favour of “sustainable development”.

But the council report says these reforms are still in draft and have “attracted a significant amount of opposition”.

It says: “It therefore carries little weight at this stage.” The plan would not impact on neighbours, it said.

The applicant has said the site “does not justify being included within the Green Belt” as it will not lead to sprawl and will help “urban regeneration”.

It will also provide much needed homes, the applicant said, adding it is “cut off” from the area by trees and other development.

Four letters opposed the plan along with Hockley Heath Parish Council with concerns over visibility at the access, with one calling it a “major road safety hazard”.

Another says: “The site is within the Green Belt and the proposal goes against one of the key principles of such land.”

The application to establish the principle of using the site for homes and a further detailed application would be needed for work to start.

The council’s planning committee will be asked to make a decision at its meeting in the council’s Solihull offices at 4.30pm. The public can attend.

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1 comment:

  1. concerned four ashes22 February 2012 at 19:01

    I agree with the planning officers comments entirely and these comments would also apply to the Crest Nicholson Application for 'Land off Four Ashes Road" i.e. visibility and a road safety hazard.The Government reforms are also very questionable and justifiably the presumption in favour needs changing,as residents will always be in the minority against Predatory Premature and Profiteering Developers.