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Developers lose marina bid battle

DEVELOPERS have lost a long-running battle to build a 140-birth marina in Knowle.

DEVELOPERS have lost a long-running battle to build a 140-birth marina in Knowle.

The project, off Jacobean Lane, had incensed residents, who had worries about noise, light pollution and loss of green belt land.

Now campaigners are celebrating the news that the scheme has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Developers, Grand Union Marine and Leisure Services Ltd, had lodged an appeal, after the plans were denied by Solihull Council.

A three-day public inquiry was held in February, with the decision finally announced last week.

In her report, planning inspector Claire Sherratt said she was not convinced that the marina was needed in the area.

“I am not persuaded that there is a pressing need at this time,” she said. “Future demand is less certain given the economic climate.

“Whilst marina developments can act as a catalyst for regeneration, I do not find any support for regeneration needs in the surrounding area.”

Geoff Heaps, of nearby Wychwood Avenue, had been among those to speak out against the proposals.

He said the news ended “three and a half years of uncertainty” - some 300 residents had signed a petition against the scheme.

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman welcomed the decision, but was worried about the glut of similar applications.

Plans at Hockley Heath and Lowsonford have also been discussed in recent years.

“I am extremely concerned that all the applications made are on green belt or rural land,” she added.

British Waterways, who supported the scheme, warned that refusal would impact on the Grand Union Canal.

A separate application, at nearby Stripes Hill, has also gone to appeal, with a decision expected later this year.

 

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