Last ditch bid to save Green Belt from being turned into a car park - The Solihull Observer

Last ditch bid to save Green Belt from being turned into a car park

Solihull Editorial 23rd Sep, 2021   0

RESIDENTS of Blackfirs Lane are making a last ditch stand against an appeal to develop Green Belt land which acts as a vital buffer to Birmingham Business Park.

The planning application, by Jaguar Land Rover supplier IAC, is to build 388 parking spaces on the land, 291 on the Green Belt in Marston Green.

It was unanimously thrown out by Solihull planners back in May this year yet now IAC have taken their case to the planning inspectorate.

Residents are furious that IAC have reneged on a deal, struck with the previous owners, to establish the parkland as a green lung between the industrial units and Blackfirs Lane.

They say IAC only took over the units in 2019 and already knew of the existing conditions and yet were now applying to overturn them.

“We cannot believe that this threat is now back on our doorstep,” said Blackfirs Lane resident Pat Preece.

“This is our last stand.

“We have put posters up, handed out leaflets, the support we have had from all the councillors and our MP Saqib Bhatti has been fantastic.

“We have got to stop this development.”

Borough Councillor Bob Sleigh (Con, Bickenhill) said: “We were promised parkland to give the residents of Marston Green an asset they could enjoy.

“The developers want to tarmac over it for 388 car park spaces on Green Belt land. This is high price to pay.

“We need now to make a final stand.

“If we don’t win this the story comes to an end and this Green Belt is lost forever.

“There are already nearly 300 car parking spaces on the site, there’s a bus stop outside it and there is ample other parking not far away.”

Meriden MP Mr Bhatti added: “I have written to the Planning Inspectorate to express my opposition to the development at Blackfirs Lane.

“I question the need for an additional 388 parking spaces as any such development will lead to further incursion on the Green Belt in an area already under significant development pressures.

“I have been in contact with several residents and am committed to ensuring their concerns are heard.”

Representations against the application close on October 6. The appeal number is APP/Q4265/W/21/3279340, the application is PL/2021/00198/PPFEL and objections can be lodged via the planning portal at, or in writing, with three copies to: Mr Mike Lloyd, Room 3K, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.

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