27th Oct, 2020

Outrage at Solihull's plans to build opposite historic windmill

IT’S earmarked to be at the heart of a new initiative to boost tourism in Solihull.

If that’s the case Jeanette McGarry, guardian of historic monument Berkswell Windmill, is wanting to know why the council wants to build 120 houses on land opposite the site on land judged to be of ecological signifiance.

And she plans to quiz members of Solihull Borough Council’s on this very issue when they meet to discuss the local plan, which covers from 2020 to 2036, this evening, Thursday, October 1.

“The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is very committed to local authorities building on brownfield first and so is the Mayor of the West Midlands combined Authority Andy Street,” she said.

“On top of that you have the lead on the environment at the combined authority, Ian Courts, who is the Leader of Solihull Borough Council.

“So what’s going on?

“You must build on brownfield sites first and not green field, they have not listened to the Prime Minister.

“In addition they will be narrowing the Meriden Gap which experts have said is a very significant wildlife corridor linking the south of the country with the north.”

The land opposite the historic windmill, in Windmill Mill, has been earmarked to take 120 houses, down from an original figure of 200, but Ms McGarry says one home is one too many.

“This local plan is incomplete – with the HS2 interchange, the NEC and Solihull town centre I believe they could site 9,000 units there but they appear not to have taken that into consideration.”

On top of that, she says that of 57 endangered UK species, 22 of them have found a home on land off Windmill Lane and those habitats will be gone if the development takes place.

“People have been very generous,” she said, “and we have built up a fighting fund.”

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