The consultation on the Local Plan ends on Monday 14th December 2020. The Plan proposes a site for development on School Road, Hockley Heath, which involves changing the current greenbelt boundary and the removal of the washed over greenbelt which may lead to two additional smaller developments in the future, subject to planning approval. The Parish Council of Hockley Heath has objected to the development of the School Road site and you can view the response to the final consultation below:
Your Representation (100 words maximum)
Limited infrastructure in Hockley Heath, The Parish Council raises the following:
Bus service to Birmingham is on Sunday/bank holidays only.
Nearest train service, Doctor’s surgery and pharmacy is 2.5 miles away, via an hourly bus service.
No Post Office.
Primary school concerns regarding over subscription.
Catchment secondary school located 5 miles away.
Large volumes and speed of traffic on School Road and A3400 – SMBC not undertaken a localised traffic impact assessment.
Site HH1 suffers from flooding.
Other rural areas identified for limited expansion have more facilities (i.e. Doctor’s).
Pressure on Hockley Heath from Warwick and Stratford upon Avon developments.
Change to Plan:
Before demonstrating that exceptional circumstances exist to remove land from the greenbelt, SMBC needs to exhaust all Brownfield land use. Within Solihull, there remains a small number of brownfield sites that have not been taken forward for development due to isolation and infrastructure, but solutions need to be identified to overcome these and include them in the Plan before releasing undeveloped greenbelt.
Attention should also be given in the Plan to the exact location of medical services for residents in the proposed developments. Hockley Heath is located the furthest distance from any GP medical facilities than other rural areas in the Plan identified for expansion, all other proposed areas for development are within easy reach of Dr surgeries.
The Plan should also clearly state in detail the infrastructure available within the area. Hockley Heath does not have a bus service to Birmingham Monday – Saturday. The local bus service from Hockley Heath to neighbouring areas with a larger range of services is hourly. Development should take place in areas with a wider range of services and improved/frequent public transport links as opposed to more rural settlements with limited facilities/transport.
The Plan should detail the impact of the motorway network upon areas proposed for development. Hockley Heath is surrounded by both the M42 and the M40 and the village becomes heavily congested when issues on the motorway network arise. The village is also a designated diversion route for the motorway.
The Plan should provide details of improvements required along the canal network where developments are proposed adjacent to canals. Site HH1 would place additional pressure on the canal bridges, one of which needs repairing and would be likely to see an increase in vehicle traffic. Towpath improvements should also be detailed in the plan for developments that are likely to see an increase in towpath use due to their proximity to canals.
Due to a lack of services and infrastructure in Hockley Heath, and the flooding issues experienced in the village, site HH1 should not feature in the Plan.