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Garden-grabbing scheme rejected

A GARDEN-GRABBING scheme – which enraged residents in Widney Manor Road – has been rejected by Solihull Council.

A GARDEN-GRABBING scheme – which enraged residents in Widney Manor Road – has been rejected by Solihull Council.

Developers were looking for outline planning permission to build 18 homes in back-gardens.

But the scheme angered neighbours, who felt it would destroy the road’s character.

Young and old alike were at last week’s meeting of the planning committee, and burst into applause when they heard the decision.

Local resident Rebecca Hess told the meeting that there were concerns about traffic, and local wildlife – badgers are said to live nearby.

“We do accept that residential development is necessary to ensure that Solihull grows and thrives.

“The question is, is this site appropriate? The view of an overwhelming number of residents is that it is not.”

Coun Joe Tildesley (Con, St Alphege) presented a petition of over 250 signatures, and warned that the plans would “dominate and overpower” the street.

Developers had argued that previous developments nearby had already comprised the road’s Green Belt status.

But the planning committee disagreed and felt that the loss of Green Belt could not be justified. Councillors voted unanimously to throw out the plans.

The application was the first of its kind to go before the planning committee, since the coalition government announced legislation to better-protect back gardens.

Solihull MP Lorely Burt said she was pleased by the result, and said that new laws should make things harder for developers.

“Obviously every case must be dealt with individually, but with this application there were real concerns about the Green Belt, access, and the wildlife corridor nearby.”

 

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