20th Jul, 2019

Back to the drawing board for Solihull's Local Plan

Sarah Mason 10th Nov, 2016

SOLIHULL’S Local Development Plan is undergoing a shake-up just three years after it was first adopted.

Changes will have to be made following a legal challenge to the 2013 plan, a review of Birmingham’s Development Plan which again states the city is unable to meet its own housing needs and the arrival of HS2 to the borough.

But these changes also mean some Neighbourhood Plans will have to go back to the drawing board as areas have been given larger housing allocations than originally expected.

Since the original plan was adopted in December 2013 it has faced a number of issues including High Court rulings and outrage from residents and developers over Green Belt boundaries.

The Draft Local Plan was released ahead of a Cabinet meeting at Solihull Council tonight (Thursday) where members will be asked to approve the consultation arrangements and confirm dates.

The 131-page document outlines an updated version of the Local Development Plan which sets out development of towns, villages and countryside up to 2028.

The document reveals there are three reasons that have triggered the need for an early review of it.

Firstly the legal challenge to the adopted plans means the current Local Plan has no overall housing requirement for the Plan period and makes it difficult to demonstrate that the Borough has a five-year housing land supply, as required by the National Planning Policy Framework.

Secondly, the examination of the Birmingham Development Plan has made clear that the City Council is unable to meet its own housing need within its boundaries, and that the shortfall will have to be met elsewhere within the Housing Market Area (or other nearby areas) such as Solihull.

Finally, the arrival of HS2 to the borough, and in particular the Interchange station, marks a significant shift from the adopted plan.

The proposed Local Area plan for the HS2 interchange station and adjoining area highlighted the need to review the Green Belt boundary to enable the Interchange Area to be allocated for development.

A spokesperson for the Council said if Cabinet approves the recommendations the Draft Local Plan will be published for formal consultation.

They added: “The Council welcomes neighbourhoods coming together to look a how their area can develop in the coming years.

“The work that they have been doing to date will be valuable in helping them respond to the Draft Local Plan consultation and influence how their communities will look in the future.

“The Council will use all consultation responses made to the Draft Plan to help shape the next version of the plan which will not only be subject to further consultation next year, but also independent examination.

“We are continuing to work closely with those communities to ensure they are aware of the revision of the Local Plan and we will continue to support this bottom-up community approach to planning.”

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