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Plans for historic Meriden Hall are blocked by council

Solihull Councillors have refused to accept plans to attach a modern glass building on to Grade II listed Meriden Hall.

Coun Howard Allen is among those opposed to the Pertemps scheme.
Coun Howard Allen has switched allegiance to Solihull's Green Party

Councillors have stood united and refused to accept plans to attach a modern glass building on to an 18th Century hall on green belt land.

Despite the proposal to extend grade two listed Meriden Hall receiving the backing of English Heritage and Solihull Council’s officers, members of the planning committee voted to turn down the plans.

Meriden Hall is used as offices for recruitment firm Pertemps, who want to extend the building to cater for more staff.

But members of Solihull Council’s planning committee decided at last Wednesday’s meeting that the extension was ‘inappropriate’ development of green belt land and there were no special circumstances to outweigh building on the land.

Coun Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) said: “There is already a lot of unused office space in Solihull. I understand the need for Pertemps to expand but there are other office blocks they can use.

“Pertemp’s needs were not enough to outweigh building in the green belt.”

Members refused the plans in October last year but always feared they would be re-submitted or go to appeal.

Chairman of the planning committee Coun David Bell previously admitted the council would be in a vulnerable position if the plans went to appeal. Members also hit out at English Heritage for backing the build.

“If that is English Heritage, no wonder 45 per cent of the Scots voted for independence,” Coun John Windmill (Olton, Lib Dem) previously said.

“This has to be one of the worst applications to have landed in our borough.”

 

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