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  • David Carter

Solihull Local Plan Update

You will recall we recently provided an update in relation to the Solihull Local Plan and the pause in work pending publication of updates to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was eventually published just before last Christmas.

 

Solihull Council were concerned at the Inspectors’ interim ruling regarding (1) both the basis for and realism of the delivery of 2,240 dwellings proposed at the NEC and (2) uncertainty regarding the future relocation or redevelopment of Arden Academy to the south of Knowle.

 

The Inspectors wrote to the Council on 11 January 2024 stating, "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.

 

The Council replied to the Inspectors on 14 February 2024. In its response, the Council suggest it has a number of options at this stage, these including:

 

a. Continue with the examination of the plan and seek to make amendments to deal with the issues the Inspectors have previously identified, i.e. follow a process to identify additional allocations to deal with the shortfall in the supply at the NEC. The Council suggest it would be inevitable such additional allocations would be sites in the Green Belt.

 

b. Withdraw the plan and seek to prepare a fresh version of a plan that could be published after 19th March 2024 that would then be examined under the new Framework subject to its submission by June 2025.

 

c. Continue with the examination of the plan without any further allocations.

 

It remains to be seen what happens next, but Council has requested that the Inspectors make provision for all interested parties to comment on this issue. This would enable any stakeholders to make representations on the approach that ought to be taken, which would include site promotors who may see the merits of getting this plan adopted, and others who may wish to argue that the examination ought to consider a more fundamental approach to Green Belt land release.

 

Please continue to keep an eye on our ‘News’ pages for further updates.




 

 

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