CONCERNS have been raised after green belt land in Knowle was earmarked for possible development.
Golden End Farm, located just off Kixley Lane and Kenilworth Road, has been included as an ‘amber’ site for housing in Solihull Council’s Draft Local Plan Supplementary Consultation.
According to the council, the amber sites have been highlighted in the latest update to find out residents’ views on their omission from the Local Plan.
Last month a meeting of Solihull Council’s cabinet approved a non-statutory six-week consultation after a revised version of the plan had been published.
It includes responses to new government policy, and assessments of the 70-plus additional ‘call-for-sites’ submissions, which saw communities put forward proposed sites for development.
According to the document Golden End Farm could have 250 homes on it.
Resident Martin Guy said: “I was surprised to see these proposed changes appear so late in the local plan review process.
“I went to the Solihull Council website to comment after being made aware of the change, but it is buried in all of the detail and not included as one of the questions on their feedback form, it seems it comes under ‘Any other comments’, strange for something so important.
“It would have been easy to miss such a significant change to the local community. Kixley Lane is an ancient lane and is a key part of the character of Knowle, it seems we are at the first stage of paving the way to build over the farmland.
“This proposal also affects the amenity of the canal, from Kixley Lane bridge to Kennilworth Road bridge at the top of Knowle locks.”
David Harris said: “The land is farmed greenbelt and the council is saying it may want to changed the use of the greenbelt and build on it as they have identified it as an amber site.
“We do not get many cars down here because it is a dead end.
“We get lots of walkers and canal boats and many are surprised to find this space is just a 10-minute walk from the centre of Knowle.
“It is a historical lane with historical views and my wife’s family have lived here for more than 200 years.”
A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The amber sites have been highlighted to encourage local people to comment on their omission from the Local Plan (as they currently are omitted) and whether this is justified.
“All the comments from our supplementary consultation will then inform deliberations over the sites to be included in the next version of the Local Plan due for publication in summer 2019.”
The consultation runs until March 15.
To comment visit https://solihull.jdi-consult.net/localplan/ or write to FAO Gary Palmer, Policy and Delivery, Managed Growth and Communities Directorate, Solihull MBC, Council House, Manor Square, Solihull, B91 3QB.