9th May, 2021

Solihull residents hit out over 'extra traffic and disruption' planned 54-apartments will bring

RESIDENTS living near a site in Solihull which could be getting 54 later living apartments have slammed the scheme, saying it is too big for the space it has been allocated to and will bring massive disruption to their lives and the local area.

They are angry about the proposals which they say will bring more traffic and road safety concerns, along with a loss of trees and green areas.

The plans for 54 independent later living apartments were unveiled by developer Pegasus Lifestory for the 1.4acre site, which includes the Old St Alphege Rectory with Church of England Birmingham.

The properties will consist of one and two-bedroom homes along with a guest suite and communal lounge.

As part of the agreement, Pegasus Lifestory will create forest walkways and outdoor areas for both St Alphege Pre-school and St Alphege Infant School, as part of the Forest School initiative.

But people living nearby are not happy with the application.

Janet Doyle said: “It is a huge lump of a building in a small space and isn’t inkeeping with the area.

“There are not many green spaces left in the area and now this one will be taken away.

“They say there won’t be an increase in traffic but the monitoring of vehicle levels was done during the pandemic when it was light.

“Normally there are already traffic jams and this will be made even worse by the development.”

She also expressed concerns about the planting of lime trees which she said were too close to existing properties.

“I have worked previously as an estate manager and having trees too close can lead to a loss of light.”

Jenny Benbridge said there were a lot of elderly residents already living in the area and she feared the roads would become more dangerous with the extra traffic.

Mike Gill, Lifestory’s regional managing director, said: “The proposals seek to protect the Old Rectory building, helping to restore it to its former glory as well as bringing forward a new building specifically designed for an ageing population.

“The palette of materials chosen, including brick and hand made tiles are recognised as being of high quality and already in existence elsewhere in the Conservation Area locally.

“As part of the proposal significant improvements to the junction with Church Hill Road are proposed.

“The distance between the proposed development and existing properties is in the main significant and none of the trees proposed to be planted could create that impact due to the distance between the existing properties and the site boundary.

“The proposals also recognise the current challenges experienced by the users of the Oliver Bird Hall, by realigning the car parking provision to better meet appropriate parking standards.”

People wanting to have their say on the application can be submitted to Solihull Borough Council by emailing planning@solihull.gov.uk and quoting the reference number: PL/2021/00905/PPFL.

The deadline for comments to have their say is Friday, May 7.

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