A PLANNING inspector appointed to examine Solihull Council’s plans for housing across the borough for the next 15 years has highlighted concerns over a lack of consultation with residents about the scheme.
Residents attended a packed pre-hearing meeting for the independent examination of Solihull Council’s Local Development Framework at Solihull Library last week.
Planning Inspector Stephen Pratt, who has been appointed by the Secretary of State to independently examine the local plan, explained to residents what to expect from the hearing sessions, which will examine the ‘soundness’ of the plan.
Mr Pratt said: “I have no wish to rewrite the plan or impose my views on the council. I intend to adopt a positive, pro-active, consensual and pragmatic approach to the examination, with the aim of ensuring a positive outcome.”
In a question and answer session, residents raised concerns about the council’s consultation process and how they were informed of the sites in Solihull earmarked for development.
Mr Pratt said: “I know there is a large amount of concern from a large number of residents about the consultation and I get frustrated when you [residents] get frustrated.”
The council said the responses from over 700 individuals demonstrated the strength of awareness about the Local Plan.
The hearings, which have been described as ‘informal discussions’ will start on January 10 and will run until January 25.