PLANS to build a new shop on the Shirley High Street have been given the go-ahead after a planning committee’s decision to reject it was quashed.
Proposals to infill the gap between the Shirley Parkgate development and 172 Stratford Road with a shop and flat above are now one step closer to becoming a reality.
After the application was rejected by Solihull Council’s planning committee a planning inspector intervened and overruled the decision before approving the plans.
Coun Howard Allen said it was the first time he had ever had to make a submission to a planning inspector, opposing a decision made by the planning department but he was pleased with the officer’s decision.
“Any effort to regenerate Shirley High Street should be supported,” he added.
“To quote the planning inspector ‘at the time of my site visit waste storage bins were visible through the palisade gate and fence which front the site’, so clearly anything in its place will be an improvement.
“It is time for Solihull Council to move on and start supporting Shirley High Street and help those of us who care about Shirley pull it back from the edge.”
Coun David Bell, the planning committee’s chairman, said the Council’s reason for refusing the application was because they believed the scheme, within an urban design, would have diminished the landmark architectural qualities of Parkgate.
He added removing the physical gap between the two buildings which were of two very different designs would harm the street scene.
“The inspector decided the harm possessed by the development of the proposal was not in this case so significant as to warrant refusal,” Coun Bell said.
“The inspector made it clear by removing the gap developing this infilled site would not diminish the landmark quality of Parkgate.”
He added the planning inspectorate had now made it clear what severe harm must be caused to a infill site such as this to warrant refusing a planning application.