DEVELOPERS are trying to revive a ‘garden-grabbing’ proposal to build houses in Shirley, despite it being rejected by Solihull Council in January.
Kingslea Homes’ application to build five bungalows behind homes in Lawnswood Avenue was unanimously rejected by the council’s planning committee due to road safety concerns, after dozens of petitioners urged them to block the plan.
But the developer launched an appeal against that decision on May 27 – giving residents just over a month to register their objections before the deadline of July 1.
Long-time opponent to the scheme Councillor Mark Parker, who represents Shirley East Ward on the council, said he was aghast the developer had chosen to go to appeal on ‘a deeply unpopular planning application’.
He said: “I can’t help feeling that there is a cynical attempt to go to appeal under lockdown, as it mirrors the developer’s attempt to put the original application under the radar with the consultation ending one day after August Bank holiday last year.
“Residents are united on this, feeling that they do not want established beautiful garden havens bulldozed and lawns asphalted over.
“It will lead to a loss of privacy and peace, as well as posing serious highway safety concerns to pedestrians and parents walking their children past this proposed site to the recently expanded Blossomfield Infants and Nursery School a few yards down the same road.”
Speaking on behalf of those immediately affected by the development, a resident told The Observer: “The council rightly rejected this scheme on the grounds that it was dangerous. Nothing has changed with the location.
“Additional residents’ vehicles will have to access a plot which is inadequate, and the entrance to the site is inadequate.
“The additional construction traffic will cause immense pressure trying to access the site, on a blind bend, with infant school children passing the access route on their way to school with no road sense.
“It is already difficult for residents when school traffic is there twice a day, but the constant flow of construction traffic will make it difficult to leave the drive with additional obstacles, noise, and constant disruption.”
In January, council planning officers had recommended the application be approved, saying: “The proposal can be designed to ensure that it will not be materially harmful to the amenities currently enjoyed by the occupiers of neighbouring dwellings.”
Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/planning-inspectorate and search for application number 3248401 to comment on the planning appeal.