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  • David Carter

Solihull Local Plan Update

The examination of the Solihull Local Plan was paused in March 2023 pending the publication of the finalised updated version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Solihull Council were concerned at the Inspectors’ interim ruling regarding (1) the basis for and realism of the delivery of 2,240 dwellings proposed at the NEC and (2) to the south of Knowle where there is uncertainty regarding the future relocation or redevelopment of Arden Academy.

 

The revised NPPF was published just before Christmas and, on 11 January, the Inspectors wrote to the Council. This letter confirmed, "that the updated NPPF (December 2023) has no implications for the Solihull Local Plan or the examination and the rationale for the pause no longer exists." In this context the Inspectors have requested clarity from the Council on how they intend to proceed.

 

At the time of writing, it remains to be seen how Solihull Council will proceed. Potentially, the Council might decide to withdraw the current plan and recommence preparation under the new NPPF framework which provides greater flexibility to Councils in preparation of their local plans, in particular in relation to the overall scale of development and protection of Green Belt. However, this could be a very risky approach since the Council currently has less than 4-years supply of housing land leaving Solihull vulnerable to planning by appeal. This would especially be the case given the uncertainty and timing of potential future supply of housing land that the Council have relied on being provided at the NEC and Knowle.

 

There should be further clarity in the coming weeks after the Council have decided what to do. Please check our website for any updates.

 




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