Thursday, 5 July 2012

Homes plan for Knowle farm approved

CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a Knowle farm into houses have been approved after an 11-year battle.


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

Two barns at Hall Farm, Kenilworth Road will be made into five homes while eight new houses will be provided.

Plans for eight homes were refused by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in 2001 and two plans for 12 homes were rejected that year and in 2003.

A 2005 appeal said the 2003 development was too remote from local services. No buses currently run past the site.

But councillors approved the latest plan – in the Green Belt, below - on Wednesday night.

A planning officer’s report said the scheme is in a “unsustainable” location but “represents a marked improvement” in its appearance.


Permission was given in 2009 for the site to be used as offices but the report said it had been difficult to find firms to take it.

Also, the controversial new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – the Government’s overhaul of planning laws – now backs the plan, it says.

It says: “The site is located within an unsustainable location.

“However due to the considerable improvements to the character, appearance and openness of the site that would be generated by the proposal, and the guidance in relation to such issues contained within the NPPF, on balance it is considered that the environmental benefits of the scheme justify the grant of permission for this unsustainable form of development in highway terms.”

Two letters from the public opposed the plan with concerns about its impact on the Green Belt and its rural location.

The Knowle Society said: “We cannot see how a three-quarters of a mile distance between them be overcome by any day-to-day use of anything other than a car.”

Under council policies, the development would have to make five of the new homes affordable.

But councillors were told affordable housing providers were unwilling to take on the site as it is too small.

It agreed developers Spitfire Properties should given the council £250,000 for affordable housing on another site

The council report said: “It is of no surprise, based on experiences of other recent similar schemes elsewhere in the area, that no housing associations expressed an interest in the site.”

The council’s planning committee approved the scheme last night.

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  1. Where will affordable housing be built in the area? Twice now the council has accepted money in lieu. The council itself needs to investigate the feasability with housing associations instead of relying on developers who wish to maximise profits and are unconcerned about local issues.

  2. Is it Just the Council after money in lieu?? the developer is after their PROFITS!! so maybe it is fair game to subsidise our council tax and in building elsewhere, maybe more appropriate ,would enable like minded/positioned people to live together? Why after living in Solihull over 40 years should my aspirations to live in an area be RUINED... .OUR EXAMPLE bought a mortgaged house in OLTON Solihull near to Birmingham Boundary (rates were cheaper in Solihull/ Warwickshire) myself working 2 jobs 72hours per week wife working 45hours.after 8 years moved off Kineton Green Road myself working 72 hours plus per week wife 40 hours.after being mugged and burgled moved off Dovehouse lane again the same working hours.after 17 years moved to Knowle/Bentley Heath myself 40 hours my wife 32 hours per week.WE WONDER WHY WE ASPIRE to live in a nice area when Affordable Housing could be gifted to you on a plate.I think the system and the people who EXPECT affordable housing are wrong.BUT are we also wrong in looking after our future just to be downtrodden by this unfair system .???

  3. I think we'd all agree the only place for affordable/social housing in Solihull is in North Solihull aka Chemlsley Wood.
    I have had to work very hard to get my own private house. I dont think its fair for someone on benefits to get a free ticket to living in a nice area, thanks to the labour party and its housing policy's.
    I have twice bought new builds in the past and my life was blighted by the activities of the people who lived in the social housing. examples include drug dealing, chasing each other with hammers, arsen against their own neighbours, and worse...NEVER AGAIN!

  4. I live very close to this proposed development and have to agree that it would improve the very unattractive site. It would also help with the provision of new houses.
    On the above point - Providing affordable housing allows people who work hard but do not earn a great deal to live in a reasonable area and have access to decent schools etc. Eg carers, nurses, graduates with student loans who in the future will struggle to get on the housing ladder. What stupid comments from above contributor - showing your snobbery and ignorance.