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  • Gail Collins

Solihull Local Plan Review – Update

A letter from the Inspectors tasked with the examination of the Solihull Local Plan has now been published on Solihull MBC website

The Inspectors have confirmed that they are still considering the ‘soundness’ of the Local Plan but are satisfied that the Council has complied with the duty to cooperate in the Plan’s preparation.

The Inspectors have confirmed that in their opinion, the earliest date for adoption of the Local Plan will be during 2022/23 and with that in mind, they have asked the Council to consider the implications of extending the plan period to at least 2036/37 so that strategic policies look ahead over a minimum fifteen-year period from adoption, in order to be consistent with national planning policy.

However, the Inspectors do raise concerns in relation to the Council’s estimates of the scale and timescales for housing development at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) site – which the Council are relying upon as their largest single site for housing but are not proposing it to be an ‘allocation’ in the Local Plan. The Inspectors consider that given the Council’s reliance on the NEC site for the delivery of housing, it is necessary for the site to be allocated and for the Local Plan to include a specific policy for the allocation, setting out a clear framework for development, policy criteria, constraints and infrastructure requirements. The Inspectors consider that because of the lack of evidence and information currently before them, they are not able to conclude that the NEC site is deliverable as proposed or that the timescale envisaged is realistic.

The Inspectors are therefore giving the Council the opportunity to provide further evidence and information on the NEC proposal in response to their specific concerns; the Council has not yet formally responded to this request.

We continue to monitor the position with Solihull MBC in terms of their response to the Inspectors and likely timescales. This may cause some slippage to the Local Plan timetable, and we shall post updates when available.

The Inspectors’ letter can be found DownloadDoc.ashx (


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