Developers 'abusing planning system' ignites public protests against Solihull garden grabbing - The Solihull Observer

Developers 'abusing planning system' ignites public protests against Solihull garden grabbing

Solihull Editorial 19th Dec, 2018   0

DEVELOPERS ‘abusing the planning system’ have ignited a widespread public protest against garden grabbing in Solihull.

Stonor Park Road inhabitants are the latest to erect green protest signs outside their homes.

The signs read ‘Stop Garden Grabbing in Solihull’ and they have been used in a number of planning disputes in the last year.

A proposal to build five houses at 72 Stonor Park Road was previously slammed as ‘garden grabbing of the very worst kind’ by St Alphege ward councillor Joe Tildesley.

Now the submission of two applications relating to the same lot of land has prompted fresh criticism from residents on the road.

The previously submitted application which was rejected in August has gone to appeal.

Campaigning resident Taj Lalli says Solihull Council has been giving signals that it is ‘amenable’ to garden grabbing.

Taj, who has been distributing green signs, says: “On Stonor Park Road, an application has gone for appeal and then two new ones have come in, all on the same plot. It’s the same pattern again. Submit a few applications and see what works.

“The developers haven’t addressed the issues which are it is still single lane access, it overlooks on neighbours, it is on a congested road and it is out of character with the area.

“Applications of this type have been refused on Stonor Park Road before. This is a pattern of abusing the system.

“Development does need to happen. But when it is happening at the expense of the neighbourhood, it is a real problem.”

An application by developers Donna Savage Planning Ltd proposes the demolition of the garage at number 72 and the erection of five detached houses with a new driveway.

In a separate application – recommended for approval by a planning officer – the same developers propose to build only four.

Campaigners previously gathered more than 350 signatures for a petition against the development – while they submitted nearly 100 letters of objection.

On this occasion only 62 letters of objection have been lodged which are represented in both applications going to planning today (December 19).

Campaigners showed up in their droves to see the previous application rejected, but had more time to mobilise people.

Although acknowledging the application would ‘fall within the rear gardens’ of numbers 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74, the latest planning officers’ report to councillors recommends approval because the need for new housing in the borough is more significant than the ‘limited level of harm to the character and appearance of the area’.

The developers did not respond before we went to Press.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Solihull Observer newspaper.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Solihull Observer.