“WE have listened and adjusted our plan to meet the needs of the borough over the coming decade.”
That’s the message from Solihull Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and the Environment, as the borough’s Draft Submission Plan enters its final stage before being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination.
Over the past six weeks the Council has received submissions from more than 950 different people and organisations and is now going through these to identify each of the separate representations made on the plan.
“Over the course of the plan making process we have held three consultations and various meetings over five years, we have welcomed input from residents and businesses, receiving more than 3,000 representations in total,” said Coun Andy Mackiewicz.
“We have listened and adjusted our plan to meet the needs of the borough over the coming decade.
“We now have the important task of reviewing the latest representations and preparing them ready to be sent to the Planning Inspectorate.
“We hope we will then move to an Examination in Public sometime in the spring/summer with an independent Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate who will focus the examination on the representations we received.”
“Despite the smaller number of representations at this stage, which can be expected as the issues have narrowed, I know that doesn’t mean everyone is happy with the Plan.
“I expect a robust examination of the Plan and recognise those who submitted representations, and expressed a wish to appear in person at the Examination in Public, will no doubt amplify their concerns to the independent examiner.
“It is vital as a Council to get a Plan in place that will allow us to have control of deciding how development takes place over the coming years, otherwise developers will go over our heads to government or planning inspectors.”
The Solihull Plan has run into a slew of controversy this year with ranging from anger at 16 of the 18 sites chosen for development being in the Green Belt, the increase in care homes in Shirley to the creation of Arden Cross, a settlement built around the HS2 interchange with 5,000 new homes.
The Plan has also been seen as an assault on The Meriden Gap amid claims it pays scant regard to local landmarks like the Berkswell Windmill.