24th Nov, 2020

Pony stable build in historic village halted by Solihull planners

John Carlon 11th Aug, 2020

PLANNERS at Solihull Council have halted the building of a horse stable in a Solihull village – criticising its impact on a nearby church.

Proposals from Michael Maloney would have seen a stable for two cob ponies on land in Bickenhill, opposite the village’s 12th century church, St Peters.

Officials at Solihull Council say the stable would have been too close to the heritage building – harming the Bickenhill conservation area.

Under Mr Maloney’s plans, a paddock, 900 metres from the runway at Birmingham Airport, was to be landscaped for an equestrian yard, with buildings to house the horses and keep tack also in the offing.

Agents for Mr Maloney suggested the stable would not detract from views of St Peters, though conceded it would be visible from some points of the church.

Solihull’s planning department also criticised lack of effort to improve biodiversity in the paddock, which the agents said was currently underused agricultural land.

The application was opposed by Solihull Council’s heritage officer Jon Beesley, who said: “The application site is prominent in views from the elevated churchyard and the the church is visible in views from the public footpath that runs alongside the site boundary.

“The undeveloped, open character of the application site makes a positive contribution to the setting of the grade l listed church and to the historic character and special interest of the Bickenhill Conservation Area. The views across the application site from the Church and from within the site towards the Church allows the significance of the church to be better appreciated.”

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