CPRE adds its weight to stop huge car park plan at Marston Green - The Solihull Observer

CPRE adds its weight to stop huge car park plan at Marston Green

Solihull Editorial 12th Mar, 2021   0

THE campaign to stop plans to create 388 additional parking spaces on land opposite Blackfirs Lane in Marston Green has been backed by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England in Warwickshire.

Last week we highlighted how residents were in a battle against proposals that would destroy a vital section of green belt at Units A and B Prologis Park Birmingham Interchange with earthworks, engineering, landscaping and drainage.

The CPRE says the ‘Very Special Circumstances’ claimed by developer IAC have not been demonstrated and that the economic benefits do not outweigh the negative impacts.

It says:

The High Court Decision relied on, by the applicants, at 4.63/4.64 of the supporting Planning Statement, January 2021 has been superseded by the ever-increasing Climate Change Emergency which impacts on our ability to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050 or earlier.

The proposal to add an additional 388 car parking spaces on the site ensures an increased loss of valuable permeable ground which, during the recent increases in extreme weather events, brought about by the Climate Change Emergency, is likely to cause localised flooding and a negative impact on sustainable rain water run-off and foul water drainage.

” The additional loss of green belt land also increases the risk of loss of ecologically rich habitats and, therefore, a continuing loss of biodiversity. The constant erosion of even relatively small areas of green belt land has a negative impact on our ability to control Climate Change and achieving Net Zero carbon by 2050.

The Planning Statement does not show enhancements have been carried out to the on-site green landscaping, hedgerows (described as defunct) and water SuDs features (described as bear earth and lacking in aquatic vegetation). A further water feature is described as having poor water quality. Enriching and improving the existing wildlife habitats and ecological features surrounding the site has not been considered important to the owners IAC Group Ltd and is in breach of previous planning approval.

The additional proposed loss of the previously only proposed new trees and wildflower meadow east of Unit B and native mixed planting of native trees and conifers to the south of the existing car park is extremely disappointing.

The previous application was approved (2018) on the condition that landscaping, mixed tree planting, wildflower meadow and water features would provide new habitats to support biodiversity. No such ecological enhancements have been carried out.

The loss of the enriched environment, ecology and biodiversity is unacceptable and breaches the terms of the original approval.

The increased loss of amenity of existing residents living to the south of the site has not been meaningfully or sensitively identified.

The Circa 400 new car parking places equates to a significant and unacceptable increase in traffic movements per day and night in line with shift working patterns and forms a significant loss of amenity with noise, light and airborne pollution significantly increased.

The single road access and egress route forms a pinch-point ensuring an increase in traffic build up, congestion, noise and pollution.

The increase of dangerous small particle vehicle emission pollution is a life limiting danger to health and wellbeing. An additional circa 400 car parking spaces unequivocally equates to a significant increase in dangerous vehicle emissions.

The application ensures the day and night traffic in the area will substantially and unacceptable increase.

The loss of amenity of existing residents does not appear to have been recognised meaningfully within the application. Running a commercial enterprise should not outweigh the amenity and rights of existing residents and those nearby who will be negatively impacted by the continual increase in local traffic.

It adds: “The continuing erosion of the green belt and all encroachment into the green belt is unacceptable and against climate change policy.

“The continuing loss of permeable green belt land in an era of increasing numbers of extreme weather events is unacceptable.

“The resulting floods are unsustainable with each loss of green belt land contributing further to the climate emergency. Net Zero carbon has to be achieved by 2050 or ideally much sooner.

“Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the green belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances (VSCS). These will not exist unless the potential harm to the green belt through inappropriateness and any other harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

“CPRE Warwickshire believe IAC Group Ltd failed to adhere to the conditions of previous approvals and have failed to enhance or protect the green belt site they occupy.”

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