27th Sep, 2020

Knowle car showroom set to be razed to build nine new homes

John Carlon 23rd Jul, 2020

A CAR showroom in Knowle is set to be demolished for new homes, after councillors approved plans.

The Johnsons Cars showroom at 25 Station Road will be razed to make way for nine houses following agreement at the Solihull planning committee last night (July 22).

Site owners Mr and Mrs Wood said their plans provide a ‘high-quality development’ that ‘enhances the character of Knowle.’

Councillors on the planning committee voted unanimously to approve the new houses.

Some councillors raised concerns over the loss of commercial space in Knowle, suggesting Mr and Mrs Wood had applied for residential use before seeking a commercial use.

Conservative Councillor Robert Grinsell pushed for a deferment to find a commercial use for the showroom, he said: “I know the site quite well, I purchased a vehicle from it many years ago when it was an Alfa Romeo garage.

“It always seemed a little incongruous to have the mix of commercial and housing in that space, but for the sake of a month it would be good to see the applicant seek a commercial opportunity.”

His call for deferment was backed by Labour Councillor David Cole.

Councillor Jim Ryan said: “I take the view this is a good application with houses which meet local need in the area.

“I don’t think we can defer an application based on its [commercial] value, so I support the application.”

Resident’s group the Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath Neighbourhood Forum had also raised concerns about the loss of a business space, saying it was a viable commerical area and the homes could “interrupt the commercial frontage in the centre of Knowle village.”

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