Two major developments are set to be built on green belt land despite objections from residents.
Plans for a new despatch site for Jaguar Land Rover at Damson Parkway and a 39-home development in Balsall Common were both passed by Solihull Council’s planning committee. A majority of members agreed the need for both schemes outweighed the impact on the green belt.
JLR will build a new despatch area to hold vehicles until they are sent out to dealerships in the UK or abroad.
The area, which will operate around-the-clock, will also be used for testing and vehicles and for faulty cars.
And a bridge will be built over Damson Parkway to transport cars to and from the despatch area.
Coun Glenis Slater (Elmdon, Lib Dem) described the build as an “encroachment and destruction” of the green belt. But other councillors said the need for JLR to expand was more important.
Coun Jim Ryan (Con, Bickenhill), who has been a long-term green belt campaigner, said: “JLR is a key player and we want to keep it going for many years.
“It is not just down to greenbelt, JLR is an international employer.
“They can go elsewhere, we don’t want to lose it to anyone else.”
Planning officers recommended the committee approved the JLR site but advised members to refuse the housing development for the over-55s.
But councillors said the units were needed in the borough.
Coun John Windmill (Olton, Lib Dem) said: “We have to look to the future.
“This will allow for larger homes to become free for families and young people to take over.
“The alternative is larger housing developments in the green belt in any case.”