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SOLIHULL: Housing scheme on ‘nasty’ bend refused

SOLIHULL: Housing scheme on ‘nasty’ bend refused

Image: LDRS

Unpopular housing plans for a village road in Solihull have been thrown out amid local fears about road safety and homes being squeezed in.

Around 20 residents had objected to the plans to pull down 14 Spring Lane, in Hockley Heath, and build three properties in its place.

The four-bedroom detached homes would have taken the place of the existing bungalow, which dates from the 1930s.

Both the parish council and ward councillor Ian Courts (Con, Dorridge & Hockley Heath) had flagged issues.

Cllr James Butler (Con, Blythe) had said he had concerns about the traffic situation at the location, with this week’s planning committee having heard the site was on an already “nasty” corner.

While highways officers had suggested they had carried out speed checks at the location, he had questioned whether the exercise would give an accurate picture.

“Any motorist driving around the bend with someone wearing PPE holding a laser gun at them is probably going to respond by moderating their speed somewhat,” he said.

“Whether that’s a true indication of what the speed would be on that road there’s some argument on.”

Cllr Michael Gough (Con, Silhill) said he was concerned homes were being “shoe-horned” in.

“With the traffic, the cars that come with it, the dust bins – I’m not very keen on this,” he said.

Gary Phillips, from Highbury Design, the architects overseeing the scheme, had said the “low-impact” proposals would enhance one of the main gateways into the village.

“The existing property is a sprawling bungalow … which is in poor condition and in need of complete alteration.”

He added that that the concerns raised about highways safety had been closely examined.

However, councillors agreed to refuse the scheme on the grounds of over-development and housing provision, with the finer details of the decision to be signed-off by the chair and vice-chair following the meeting.

Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter

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