PLANS to build almost 90 dwellings at the Bees rugby ground were dealt another blow this week, when it was announced that a planning appeal had been dropped.
An inquiry was due to start in Solihull on Tuesday, with an inspector looking into proposals to put up housing at Sharmans Cross Road - home of Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club.
The controversial application had been thrown out by councillors in October, so an appeal was made to the Government. But only days before the inquiry was due to start, residents found out that Oakmoor Ltd, the club’s landlord, had withdrawn the appeal.
Bees had hoped to use the redevelopment to bankroll a groundshare with Solihull Moors FC.
Paul Davidson, Bees’ chairman, said: “Oakmoor had its reasons for withdrawing its appeal and we are very disappointed that this was necessary, but the club is still keen to see the proposed Sporting Partnership Community Foundation ultimately come to fruition.
“The principal focus for the club is to secure our championship status for next season and develop on a stable and viable platform as a whole club.
“We will then review our existing options with regards to where we play our games next season and beyond.”
While this week’s news will be a blow for sports fans, it has been welcomed by residents who had opposed the scheme - and were expecting another fight this week.
Pat Montague, of the Sharmans Cross Road Action Group, said he was not surprised by this turn of events. He didn’t think there was a strong case for the development.
Coun Kate Wild (Con, St Alphege) said: “I’m delighted that the group appear to have won the day - they really have worked hard.”