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Email: enquiries@dickensheathpc.org.uk

Parish Council Objection to Planning Application 2018/01710 Demolish 85 Birchy Leasowes Lane

Dickens Heath Parish Council objects to this planning application on the following grounds:

  1. All five proposed properties are large three storey constructions, which are considered inappropriate and out of character in this location, and represent poor design in respect of meeting the council’s homes in context policy. The houses should be reduced in height and limited to two storeys, particularly in respect of plots 2, 3 & 4 – which fail to respect the semi-rural character of the area and create overlooking and loss of privacy to the bungalow properties in Birchy Close, with particular adverse impact on number 25.
  1. The site layout is contrived with a very long driveway that does not provide for a passing bay or indicate facilities for access by refuse vehicles or an alternative provision of a bin store/collection point near the highway frontage.
  1. Concern is raised for root protection measures required for tree roots where remaining boundary/site trees are in close proximity or overshadowing buildings.
  1. It is noted that the applicant has felled significant numbers of mature trees on site in advance of submitting this planning application, mainly over the Easter 2018 holiday period, which conflicts with good practice followed by responsible developers.
  1. Flood Risk – This is a serious current issue at this location, and this development increases risk of Flooding following the recorded recent experience of 27th May where surface water run-off flowed across Dickens Heath Road at this section near its junction with Birchy Leasowes Lane into the Bellway estate flooding homes.

Strong indications are that this additional run-off contributed to the overwhelming of the installed drainage system on the Bellway into the linked David Wilson sites with serious flooding into homes.

Further development at this location, with its additional areas of hard standing in such close proximity to the western boundary of Dickens Heath Road, coupled in this instance by the loss of absorption by felled trees, would significantly increase the flood risk to property.

Despite the present flood area designation for the site, the practical evidence now indicates this will need to be reassessed as a priority against changed criteria by the lead flood authority which is SMBC.

It is the Parish Council’s view that no further development consent on this scale should be granted in this location by the planning authority until this current flood risk assessment by Solihull Council has been carried out and a detailed onsite drainage scheme is agreed.

Allowance must also be made for new evidence that takes account of the clay base in this location and need to protect existing homes.

Dickens Heath Parish Council requests that this application is refused on the planning grounds set out above, with an emphasis on the public interest in the outcome of the current flood risk review being completed as quickly as possible and the applicants’ scheme in terms of design and drainage provision being fully assessed and approved.

Given the public concerns of these issues we would request this application is referred to the planning committee for decision.

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