Six former police homes on Stratford Road will be demolished to make way for 33 new retirement flats after McCarthy and Stone’s application was approved at committee last Wednesday (April 4).
Councillors welcomed the housing which would help serve the borough’s ageing population but they came under criticism during the meeting from Solihull Ratepayers’ secretary Trevor Eames who asked them to re-think the affordable housing levy which works out at almost £9,000 per apartment.
Mr Eames said the development is “positive, progressive and meets a need for elderly housing” but warned increasing the costs could push pensioners into Coventry and Birmingham where they are not “unfairly punished”.
However, Coun John Windmill (Lib Dem, Olton) claimed that the affordable housing levy was essential to continue to provide accommodation in other parts of the borough.
“We need to make sure there is affordable housing for all stratas of society. There are a considerable number of elderly residents who can’t afford the accommodation in McCarthy and Stone and rely on us to provide affordable homes.”
Coun Ian Hedley (Lib Dem, Shirley East) added: “The affordable housing contribution is appropriate... and in line with our formula. It has served this borough very well.”
Concerns were also raised over the development having just 14 parking spaces but committee members eventually voted to unanimously approve the application.