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21st Sep, 2021

Plans to build 'garden village' near Earlswood station revealed

Sarah Mason 18th Aug, 2021

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a ‘garden village’ of 1,800 new homes near Earlswood station have been revealed.

London Collective, a network of built environment experts and creatives, has published plans on its website to build the homes, a primary school and space for local and independent retailers in a space dubbed ‘Fulford Green’.

The website says the village will be ‘net zero carbon ready’ and will be created with ‘reasons not to drive, enabling people to live locally with a primary school, farm shops, great internet and open spaces’.

The prospectus says it was commissioned by Summix, a property company specialising in development projects, to create a vision for a 21st Century new community at Fulford Green in Solihull.

London Collective say: “Fulford Green will have homes for rent, for sale, for later living as well as affordable homes for local people, particularly shared ownership and starter homes for local young people to help them get on the housing ladder.

“They will be net zero carbon ready, meeting the highest environmental standards, but so much more is needed to make it truly sustainable.”

The farmland where Fulford Green would sit is on a site which was submitted in the Council’s Call for Sites in 2016 but was not considered or put into the Local Plan.

The concept of Fulford Green received a lukewarm reception from Blythe Councillor Ken Hawkins, who also holds the cabinet portfolio for environment and infrastructure.

He said: “This proposal does look on paper to be a very interesting garden village but I cannot accept this as it stands into our Local Plan.

“If this is added to the Local Plan by the planning inspectorate I will expect something to go.

“We cannot have another site with 2,000 more home in that part of the ward.

“I recognise the aims of the project with it being near a railway station. We do know the reliance on cars would be substantial.”

Councillor Hawkins added the site would not be included in September’s Local Plan public consultation.

Trevor Eames from Dickens Heath Residents Association and the chair of Dickens Heath Parish Council, said: “This scheme came out of the blue as a pre-planning notification.

“It’s not a planning application as such – even planning were unaware – and there is only the developer to make representations to.

“Fulford Green around Earlswood Station is the size of another Dickens Heath village in a rural area without the highway and infrastructure to cope and it will be very damaging and disruptive.”

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