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Villages ‘to buckle’ in 350 homes plan

KNOWLE and Dorridge would buckle under the strain of up to 350 new homes, a residents’ group has said.

KNOWLE and Dorridge would buckle under the strain of up to 350 new homes, a residents’ group has said.

Solihull Council has identified three areas, on the outskirts of the villages, that could be used for housing estates.

Under proposals, 90 homes could be built at Middlefield, 100 off Hampton Road and 150 next to Four Ashes Road.

Nothing has been decided for definite and the local authority does not envisage the land being released for at least another decade.

But Knowle Society has warned that developers are already circling the sites and an application could arrive far sooner than expected.

This week, Leighton Jones, the society’s head of planning called on Solihull Council to go back to the drawing board.

“If all three estates went ahead, we would see the population increase by something like 1,000 people,” he said.

“We feel that under the plans being drawn up, Knowle and Dorridge would take a disproportionate amount of new housing.

“It would be fairer to spread new homes evenly out and not concentrate them in quite specific areas.” Many villagers are worried about the proposals, which would see the biggest expansion in recent times.

Patricia Oxford, of Crabmill Close, lives near the site where houses could be built in Hampton Road.

“The area they’re talking about is farmland and supports a real abundance of wildlife,” she said.

“We don’t believe that Knowle can support any more housing, the schools are already full and the roads are getting busier.”

Solihull Council continues to work on its emerging core strategy, setting out development plans for the next 15 years.

But several villages have already argued that their infrastructure and services couldn’t cope with any further expansion.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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