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Church tower and dome plan outcry

RESIDENTS claim they have been kept in the dark over plans to “massively” transform St Ninian’s Church.

RESIDENTS claim they have been kept in the dark over plans to “massively” transform St Ninian’s Church.

A planning application has been submitted to build two towers - 16 metres tall - and add a dome to the top of the building.

St Ninian’s, in Caldwell Grove, has been empty for over two-years and the Coptic Orthodox Church wants to make the alterations.

The church has its roots in Egypt, but there are followers around the world - including 50 families in the Birmingham and Solihull area.

A planning statement says that the building will be a “prominent landmark” but that surrounding buildings will hide it from view at a distance.

But residents are concerned about the style and size of the development and also fear that it could create parking problems.

Jennifer Leeming said: “It [St Ninian’s] was never an attractive building but I consider this a most inappropriate development on a major route to Solihull town centre.”

And fellow-resident Judith Hicken has also voiced concerns about the “sheer size” of the towers being proposed.

It is understood that Solihull Council has been inundated with complaints about the development, due to go to the planning committee later this year.

And many residents have accused the council of not consulting them and only found out when the Solihull News published an article last week.

Councillor John Windmill, chairman of the planning committee, said: “Legally we are only obliged to write to people whose properties adjoin the land that is subject to an application.

“However, we do tend to inform more neighbours if we think it necessary.”

Solihull Council has written to 79 homeowners regarding this application and will be putting up site notices in the next few days.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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