A CONTROVERSIAL application to build a marina in Knowle has been thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.
Developers had brought the appeal after Solihull Council refused permission to erect a marina at Knowle Farm Locks, Stripes Hill.
A similar scheme at Grove Farm in the village was also refused by the council.
The Stripes Hill application scheme would have seen 223 berths and parking for 106 vehicles if it been given the go ahead.
The Inspector said: “The proposed development would be harmful to the purposes of including land in the Green Belt, specifically encroachment into the countryside.”
The report also stated that new embankments ‘would be incongruous additions’ and the marina would be a ‘large artificial feature’.
Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, welcomed the decision.
“I was delighted to hear the decision which shows that the Inspector has placed a high value on the protection of the Green Belt and on local residents’ wishes.
“It was determined that the application was not deemed to meet the ‘very special circumstances’ that warrant building on Green Belt land.
“This kind of development was opposed by many residents as they felt that it could radically alter the countryside.
“I am very pleased that the Inspector agreed, saying that any benefits of the scheme would be to the users of the marina rather than having wider benefit.”
Leighton Jones, deputy chairman of the Knowle Society said: “We objected on its size and its impact on green belt. We are very relieved and pleased that the inspector has seen fit to dismiss this appeal. We hope that we have seen the last of large marina applications.”
Details of the decision can be found on: http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp.
Two applications to build marinas at Sands Farm, Hockley Heath and nearby Lowsonford are still in the pipeline.