CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a multi-storey complex with a care home on the former Morrisons site in Shirley have been refused.
Solihull Council’s planning committee unanimously threw out the application, which was earmarked for approval by officers, to demolish the former supermarket on Stratford Road, which closed in 2019, and build a new multi-storey building in its place.
Developers, Macc Group, hoped to six storey build which would house an 84-bed care home and 88 residential apartments alongside a gym, salon and restaurant.
They were also seeking to create 126-space basement car park.
A 1,000-strong petition, led by Conservative Shirley East ward Councillors Mark Parker, Annette Mackenzie and Karen Grinsell, had previously been handed to the Council calling for the complex’s refusal.
In the petition the Councillors said they were ‘alarmed and concerned’ by the scale of the building which they said would over-shadow nearby streets.
The size of the building was hotly debated by committee members against the backdrop of the development being on a brownfield site – an area that has already been developed on.
However, the committee refused the plans as it goes against the local plan in terms of scale, mass and density.
Speaking at the meeting Coun Parker thanked those who signed the petitions saying this showed the strength and feelings towards the glut of retirement and care facilities seen in Shirley.
He added: “This development would not add to the over all quality of the area nor does the application offer compelling evidence that the purpose of the building will last over its life time.
“There are two reasons for this….SMBC [Solihull Council’s) adult social care said demand for such facilities is falling with vacancies for extra care in the borough.
“Secondly the design of the proposal is already out of date with the enveloped HSBC branch closing this September.
“The National Planning Policy Framework says the proposed site should maximise capacity – it clearly does not.”
In a statement Coun Tim Hodgson for Shirley West said: “Although I am not against the principle of developing this site, I am very concerned about the height of the proposed apartment building.
“During the pandemic, we have seen a huge strain on GP services in Shirley, with services struggling to cope with demand.
“Building another care home in Shirley will only add to this strain.”