Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Appeal launched over Four Ashes homes plan

A DEVELOPER has launched an appeal over plans for homes off Four Ashes Road – as a council report says the scheme should not go ahead.

Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

Crest Nicholson has appealed to the independent Planning Inspectorate to make a decision on the plan for 38 houses at the Bentley Heath field.

It lodged the appeal this month, saying Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has taken too long to make a decision on its application, lodged last December.

A slightly amended application was lodged last month for 38 homes while a plan for 51 flats for OAPs was also put into the council this month. No decision has been made on either.

The council’s planning committee – which would have made a decision on the December scheme – will be asked to give its view on the plan next Wednesday.

A council planning officer’s report to the committee says while the site is suitable for housing, it has too many four-bedroom homes.

And it says the developer is not offering enough cash to provide extra places at Arden school.

Of the 38 homes, 23 would be on the open market and comprise four bedrooms while the remainder would be affordable housing from two to four bedrooms.

It says: “There has been no attempt to provide a mix of market dwellings as they are all four bedroom properties.”

It said: “Therefore the proposals do not provide for local need.”

These reasons will be argued against the plan at the inspectorate, it says.

Some 11 objections were made to the council, including The Knowle Society, with concerns over traffic and “overdevelopment”.

The report says the development would introduce about eight primary age and six secondary age pupils into the area.

The developer said pupils could go to Tudor Grange or Alderbrook schools in Solihull and offers £94,752 towards expanding Arden.

But the report says this does not show a “sound understanding” of admissions in the area as the Solihull schools are unlikely to take pupils from the Knowle area.

It said any increase in numbers “is likely to lead to local children being refused a place at entry level, even though they meet the normal criteria for admission”.

With no places in Solihull these children “could be forced to travel substantial distances to the nearest schools with vacancies” it adds.

It says Crest Nicholson should therefore pay £380,952 as the school will need a new £2m block to take year sizes from 240 to 270.

But the officer backed the visual impact of the plans, saying: “It will create a coherent townscape that is functional and an attractive place to live.”

And it said traffic impacts and the affect on neighbours were acceptable.

Views can be given to The Planning Inspectorate here before July 6.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. No registration required. Posts must abide by the terms and conditions. Report comments at

Click here to get stories by email.


  1. Very concerned Bentley Heath.28 June 2012 at 07:10

    The OFFICER's comment that that the affect on neighbours were acceptable is utterly preposterous and totally UNACCEPTABLE in the northern corner. The coherent townscape is functional is very debateable as this is a rural area and would lead to a significant loss of the communities view across this last open safeguarded greenfield space to and from the recreation ground and finally joining Bentley Heath with Dorridge

    1. Surely the reports estimation of "the development would introduce about eight primary age and six secondary age pupils into the area" is a gross underestimate. How were these figures estimated? Logic dictates that if there are 38 houses being built, the number of children are likely to be much higher.

  2. Pleased Bentley Heath4 July 2012 at 22:48

    The application 2011-1914 appealed for non determination has been rejected tonight and Tony Bateman of Pegasus Planning the agent for Crest Nicholson stated they were CONSIDERING going to appeal,However application 2012-766 is still to be decided.

  3. The story above included a link to the Planning Inspectorate's website which shows an appeal has been lodged over last year's application.

    Sounds like Pegasus are threatening to appeal to try and get permission from the council when they have in fact already appealed.

  4. Crest Nicholson SW 's Public Inquiry is at 10am Tuesday 9th October at Solihull Municipal Club B91 3LE Brick Kiln Lane off Widney Lane
    A better residents venue would have been nearer the proposed development site at Bentley Heath Community Hall off Widney Road.
    ( As incorrect road names appear on some of their plans with SLATER Road called Station Road maybe they just looked for a hall off Widney ????,)

  5. the proposal for housing say that some will be on the open market and some will be affordable housing do people no that means council housing? so will the council housing be for local people or will the homes just go to any person that applies from any were in solihull ,,chelmsley wood !