FAMILIES were celebrating today after winning a bitter fight against plans to build new homes between their houses and Birmingham airport.
A planning inspector ruled that a planned boom in the numbers of planes using an extended runway would mean anybody living in the properties would have a poor quality of life.
Solihull Council had thrown out two sets of plans for the development across the gardens of houses in Elmdon Lane, Marston Green, by developers Sandstone Group on grounds of noise and traffic.
Two separate appeal hearings were held in April and this month when Government inspectors visited the site close to the perimeter fence of the airport.
Locals who staged protests and packed a public inquiry today hailed their David versus Goliath win as a triumph for people power and issued a hands-off warning to developers hoping to exploit planning laws to “garden grab” green spaces in the area.
Speaking after yesterday’s announcement, Linda Poulson, a resident of Elmdon Lane and spokeswoman for Marston Green Opposing Over Development, said: “We are over the moon and gobsmacked in equal measure.
“This was a real David versus Goliath fight and we didn’t give ourselves much hope but we were determined to fight along with the council. Sandstone tried to bully us from day one by claiming that fighting the appeal would cost the council a lot of money in costs.
“This ought to be a cautionary tale for developers that people in the area care enough to fight them.”
Planning inspector Robert Luck said a three fold boost in passenger numbers and twice as many flights at the airport meant that noise levels in the 70 homes would be unacceptably high.
Caroline Spelman MP (Con, Meriden) said: “I am delighted. The planning inspector has recognised that the back gardens of Elmdon Lane are no place for building new flats.”