September 28th, 2016

Controversial Knowle ‘garden grabbing’ scheme deferred

Controversial Knowle ‘garden grabbing’ scheme deferred Controversial Knowle ‘garden grabbing’ scheme deferred
Updated: 2:30 pm, Dec 11, 2015

A CONTROVERSIAL ‘garden grabbing’ proposal to build a four bedroom house in Knowle has been deferred.

The plans to demolish a garage and build a new home next to 31 Wychwood Avenue went before Solihull Council’s planning committee last Wednesday (December 2)

The proposed development would see the existing garden of number 31 divided for the new property.

The nearest neighbours would be number 27 and 31 to the sides and 1 Holland Avenue to the rear.

There would be a gap of about 2.2 metres and 3.4 metres between the adjacent properties and 13.2 metres to the back of the property if it were to get the go-ahead.

A previous application to demolish the existing garage, build a new home and extend number 31 by way of a two-storey extension was withdrawn following a number of concerns. Officers said the current application had adequately addressed those problems.

In total there were 17 responses to the original application and 13 to the amended scheme raising concerns with issues such as the increase in traffic and insufficient parking, the visibility affect and the increased risk of accidents it would cause.

Others claimed the parking area was too close to the ‘busy and dangerous’ junction of Wychwood Avenue and Holland Avenue.

Issues were also raised with the over-development of site and with it being out of keeping with area, spoiling the street scene.

Owen Morgan, who spoke at the meeting, said the development would have inappropriately small gardens and added one single house would not alleviate the pressures of addressing housing needs so it should not be a reason to grant planning permission.

He added all the six corner sites within their estate were designed for one house to create the spacious look and feel and to go against that would see the original intention of the developers lost forever.

Mr Morgan said his son’s bedroom window would also be directly impacted by the building and would prevent him from his right to light.

Gareth Jones said on its own the application did not make much of a difference but collectively with other smaller developments it did.

He added the new home fitted in with the area and met with the Council’s requirement.

He claimed it was not cramped and would not have an impact on neighbours, as the proposals were not unreasonable in an urban area.

“The fact is there are a number of objections. It is not the weight of the public opinion that counts it is the strength of the objections made and as the report and planning recommendations state there are no planning reasons to refuse this scheme.”

Coun Jeff Potts, who called for a determent, said he had to err on the side of caution when it was anything to do with child safety or overlooking. He added he was not convinced the house would fit in either.

The committee voted unanimously to defer.

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