Local Plan update


Solihull Council has received a letter from the Local Plan Inspectors following the latest hearing sessions, held in July.  

The Inspectors have agreed that the Council’s identified housing requirements are appropriate and have accepted the Councils approach to support the unmet housing needs from the wider housing market area. In doing so, it means the Council has passed the planning test known as the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ with neighbouring Councils. 

The Inspector then focuses on some key areas that require further work and assessment. 

One of these is the housing capacity proposed at the NEC that the Council can rely on to be delivered during the Plan period. Whilst the principle of the development is supported, the Inspectors have indicated the capacity should be reduced to 500 homes for the Plan purposes. 

The second issue relates to the Knowle Triangle site (KN2). The Inspectors have agreed the site is an appropriate allocation, but that it should not be dependent on a new Arden Academy. 

The Council has been invited by the Inspectors to consider the issues raised and identify how it wishes to proceed.  Any main modifications to the Plan will be reviewed by Members and will be subject to public consultation giving everyone the opportunity to comment on any changes to the plan.

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning & Housing, said:

“Whilst we are very pleased that one of the key issues for the Plan (the housing requirement) has been settled, we are very disappointed that the Inspectors haven’t supported the delivery envisaged at the NEC, or the need to facilitate the regeneration of Arden Academy.

“We recognise it remains vitally important that we progress towards a sound Local Plan, however, it is of equal importance that Plan is sustainable and deliverable for the Borough. We will therefore be working with the Inspectors to better understand the reasoning behind their current conclusions before setting out how we intend to address them”.

The Inspectors’ letter is here.