PLANS for new homes at a former cricket ground are finally set for approval – after a six-figure pledge for schools, the NHS and the community.
The former Hampton-In-Arden cricket club site near Lapwing Drive and Corbetts Close in the Solihull borough village has already gained approval in principle to build 43 homes.
A council officer’s report to be heard by councillors at next Wednesday’s (May 15) planning committee meeting has recommended approval now alterations have been made.
The plans hinge on the applicant Elegant Homes entering into a compensation arrangement to grant more than £150,000 to nearby secondary schools – as well as nearly £50,000 to local NHS services.
The developers will also be expected to pay about £470,000 in a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – which makes developers pay the council a sum to invest in new local services.
A planning officer’s report says the amended proposals have included a greater number of affordable homes while the developer has responded to concerns about preserving the character of the area.
The report adds the plans cause ‘less than substantial’ damage to the two listed buildings near the site – but the benefits of the scheme outweigh this.
The scheme will include 17 ‘affordable’ homes and 26 market homes with a mix of one or two bedroom maisonettes, two bedroom apartments and other two, three, four and five bedroom houses – some terraced and some detached.
The report states: “The amended proposal continues to meet an identified need for small dwellings in the area and would deliver the necessary affordable units on the site.
“The amended design and layout of the dwellings respects and responds to the local distinctiveness and character of the area.
“The ‘less than substantial harm’ has to be balanced against public benefits delivered by the proposal, namely the delivery of new dwellings on the site, the cumulative social benefits in respect of the delivery of affordable housing in the borough (which is much needed) and economic benefits both directly and indirectly from the scheme in terms of job creation when taken as a whole carry significant weight in the planning balance.”
The Hampton in Arden Parish Council previously objected to the application but in the latest response a spokesperson said: “The parish council originally objected to the application which seeks to reduce the number of affordable homes from 17 to 16 and also to introduce changes to the design and layout which, we believe, would have a detrimental effect on some of the these homes.
“It would appear from the committee report that our concerns have now been satisfactorily addressed, the recommendation is for approval subject to conditions and, therefore, the parish council is now able to support the application.”
No other objections have been lodged although the planning department is awaiting consultation responses from the council’s highways and landscape teams.
The Hampton in Arden Cricket Club moved to nearby Shadowbrook Lane a decade ago.