64. The SLP highlighted significant problems, tensions and
challenges facing the Borough. These were used as a basis
for developing the strategy and policies in the plan that could be
used to address the challenges.
65. The challenges set out in the SLP have been used as a
starting point for the local plan review, and consideration has
been given as to whether they remain appropriate and up to date,
or whether there have been any change in circumstances that need
to be addressed. The Scope, Issues and Options consultation
invited views on whether these challenges were still appropriate,
and whether there were any new ones that needed to be considered.
66. The challenges set out below
are based on the challenges identified in the SLP.
Challenges B (Housing Needs) and Challenge G (Shortage of Gypsy
and Traveller Sites) have been amended and new challenges M and N
have been added to reflect changes in circumstances since 2013.
A Reducing inequalities in the Borough
B Meeting housing needs across the Borough, including the
Borough's own needs and, where possible, assisting with
accommodating the HMA wide shortfall.
C Sustaining the attractiveness of the Borough for people who
live, work and invest in Solihull
D Securing sustainable economic growth
E Protecting key gaps between urban areas and settlements
F Climate change
G To maintain a supply of gypsy and traveller sites.
H Increasing accessibility and encouraging sustainable travel
I Providing sufficient waste management facilities and providing
for sand and gravel aggregates
J Improving health and well being
K Protecting and enhancing our natural assets
L Water quality and flood risk
M Maximising the economic and social benefits of the High Speed 2
rail link and Interchange
N Mitigating the impacts of High Speed 2 and the growth
associated with the Interchange area
Challenge A – Reducing Inequalities in the Borough
North Solihull RegenerationArea
- Significant levels of deprivation with higher levels of
crime, fear of crime and worklessness than the Borough average.
- Poor public transport links with the south of the Borough,
employment areas and poor access by walking and cycling to local
services and facilities and economic assets.
- Inadequate supply of business premises, particularly space
for small and medium size enterprises.
- Skills / qualifications gap and low educational attainment.
- Poor quality urban environment (including main retail
centre), green space and public realm, lack of variety of
tenures, lack of market and affordable housing.
- Poor health, significantly lower life expectancy with a
significant gap between the best and the worst wards in the
of the Borough
- Pockets of deprivation in the Mature Suburbs and Rural Area:
low incomes, unemployment and poor health in parts of
Bickenhill, Elmdon, Lyndon, Olton and Shirley.
- Problems of access to housing and local services,
particularly in some rural areas.
- Increasing obesity Borough wide, of particular concern
- Pockets of anti-social behaviour crime around the Borough.
- Close the gap of inequality between the most and least
affluent wards in Solihull, particularly reducing the
inequalities that exist between North Solihull Regeneration Area
and the rest of the Borough.
Challenge B - Meeting housing needs across the Borough,
including the Borough's own needs and, where possible, assisting
with accommodating the HMA wide shortfall
- Meeting the Borough's full objectively assessed housing needs
without adversely affecting the quality of its environment and
its attractiveness for businesses and residents
- Accommodating some of the HMA wide housing shortfall without
adversely affecting the quality of its environment and its
attractiveness for businesses and residents
- Ensuring a supply of housing is available throughout the plan
period, especially in the early period.
- A shortage of affordable housing, particularly for rent and
first time buyers, in all areas of the Borough but especially
the Mature Suburbs and the Rural Areas of the Borough.
- A need to widen the housing offer to ensure the provision of
an appropriate mix, type of market housing and encourage
intermediate home ownership through the provision of Starter
Homes and Shared Ownership.
- A need for a range of affordable housing for older people and
for people with learning, physical and sensory disabilities and
mental health needs.
- A need to promote opportunities for self and custom house
- To ensure that the full objectively assessed housing need for
the Borough is met for the plan period consistent with the
achievement of sustainable development and the other objectives
of the Plan
- To ensure that provision is made for an appropriate
proportion of the HMA shortfall in new housing land consistent
with the achievement of sustainable development and the other
objectives of the Plan.
- Maximise the provision of affordable housing ensuring the
provision of an appropriate mix, type and tenure of housing on
sites in a range of locations which meet the needs of Solihull's
residents, particularly needs for affordable housing, including
Starter Homes, and supported housing, on a Borough wide basis.
- Address constraints in supply including the inability to
deliver affordable housing in recent years through windfall
development prioritising locations for development that will
best contribute to building sustainable, linked, mixed use and
- Widen the range of options for older people and for people
with learning, physical and sensory disabilities and mental
health needs through the provision of accommodation which is
designed to meet these diverse needs.
- To provide opportunities for self and custom build as
signalled through Solihull's Self and Custom House Building
Challenge C - Sustaining the attractiveness of the Borough for
people who live, work and invest in Solihull
- Accommodating additional development, whilst:
- Continuing to improve the quality of the environment in
the North Solihull Regeneration Area and in areas of
deprivation in the Mature Suburbs;
- Conserving the qualities of the Mature Suburbs, rural
settlements and characteristics of the wider rural area that
make those places attractive areas to live;
- Ensuring there is sufficient amenity space and
opportunities for secure children's play;
- Providing healthy places which include opportunities for
cycling and walking; and
- Ensuring that residential and other amenities are
- Ensure high quality design and development which integrates
with its surroundings and creates safer, inclusive, adaptable
and sustainable places which make a positive contribution to the
Borough's sense of place, attractiveness and to people's quality
- Conserve and enhance the qualities of the built, natural and
historic environment that contribute to character and local
and the attractiveness of the mature residential suburbs and the
- Ensure development does not have an adverse impact on
residential and other amenities, and where that impact is
unavoidable, to incorporate satisfactory mitigation.
- Widen the range of options for older people and those with
disabilities through provision of accommodation which is
designed to meet these diverse needs.
Challenge D - Securing sustainable economic growth
Key Economic Assets
- Maintaining Solihull's important regional and sub-regional
- Meeting aspirations of key businesses to enable them to
maintain competitiveness (Birmingham Airport, National
Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Business Park, Blythe Valley Park,
Jaguar Land Rover) whilst contributing to sustainable
- Retaining a high skilled workforce.
- Impact of congestion on motorways, the strategic highway
network and rail from additional growth/housing.
- Impact of pressure for development on the quality of the
- Need to provide opportunities around workplaces for healthy
and active lifestyles.
- Need for high speed digital connectivity to enhance
Solihull Town Centre
- Pressure for redevelopment and expansion.
- Impact of congestion.
- Maintaining the attractiveness of the Town Centre's historic
core and parkland setting.
Shirley Town Centre
- Pressure from out of centre retail development.
- Poor quality shopping environment.
- Impact of high level of through traffic and congestion.
Chelmsley Wood Town Centre
- Dated in appearance and in need of environmental
- Broader diversity of uses needed to improve attraction to
- Maintain its local importance.
- Maximise the capacity and benefits of the recently extended
runway at Birmingham airport, including through enhancing the
- Support the continued success of other key economic assets
such as National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham and Blythe Valley
Business Parks and Jaguar Land Rover whilst maintaining the
quality of the environment and managing congestion.
- Support the continued success of Solihull Town Centre whilst
maintaining the quality of its environment and managing
- Encourage investment into Shirley and Chelmsley Wood Town
Centres to improve competitiveness and the shopping environment.
Challenge E - Protecting key gaps between urban areas and
- Maintaining the integrity of the Green Belt and the Borough's
attractive rural setting that helps to attract investment, in
the context of the significant pressures on agriculture and for
development to meet the housing requirements for Solihull
including the local and wider Housing Market Area needs.
- Maintain the Green Belt and improve the network of green
infrastructure in Solihull, to prevent unrestricted expansion of
the major urban area, to safeguard the key gaps between
settlements such as the Meriden Gap and the countryside. Ensure
that the countryside is managed so as to deliver a range of
benefits including the growing of food and energy products,
create an attractive rural setting and improved public access
and recreational opportunities.
Challenge F - Climate change
- Higher than average greenhouse gas emissions.
- Low potential for wind and biomass.
- Strong potential for decentralised energy and heating
networks around Solihull Town Centre, UK Central Hub Area and
growth areas where feasible and viable.
- High level of emissions from transport.
- Risk to health of older people and those in fuel poverty in
poorly insulated homes.
- Risk of increased surface water flooding in urban areas.
- Urban heating.
- Retrofitting of existing buildings.
- Impact on biodiversity conservation and landscape character.
- Reduce the Borough's greenhouse gas emissions, so as to
contribute to the national target for reduction, through a range
of measures such as the location and design of development,
provision of renewable and low carbon energy schemes, and
promoting opportunities for low carbon travel.
- Promote decentralised energy and heating networks within the
Mature Suburbs and North Solihull Regeneration Area, and the
generation of energy from on-site renewable sources.
- Support the implementation of 'Solihull Connected' and
encourage the use of public transport by ensuring that new
development is located in areas of high accessibility or
potential high accessibility.
- Promote measures, such as integrated green infrastructure, to
improve resilience of existing and new developments to the
impacts of climate change.
Challenge G - To maintain a supply of gypsy and traveller sites
- The need to maintain an appropriate level of supply of
authorised Gypsy and Traveller sites in Solihull
- Avoiding the establishment of unauthorised developments and
- To ensure adequate provision of authorised pitches to meet
the needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the Borough, to reduce
the number of unauthorised developments and encampments and
enable Gypsies and Travellers to access the services and
facilities to meet their needs, whilst respecting the interests
of the settled community.
Challenge H - Increasing accessibility and encouraging
- Difficulties of access to services, facilities and employment
leading to social exclusion, in the North Solihull Regeneration
Area and for young and elderly in rural areas.
- High car use in the Mature Suburbs and often this is the only
form of available transport in rural parts of the Borough.
- Ensuring that expected levels of population growth as well as
delivery of HS2 and UK Central do not compound existing levels
of peak hour congestion on the principal road network
- Public transport journey times and poor reliability can
- Poor pedestrian and cycle connectivity between communities
and retail and employment centres.
- Physical, behavioural and perceptual barriers to more
sustainable forms of transport, most notably cycling and bus.
- Poor north-south public transport links.
- Improve accessibility and ease of movement for all users to
services, facilities, jobs and green infrastructure.
- Reduce the need to travel.
- Manage transport demand and reduce car reliance.
- Enable and increase the modal share of all forms of
- De-couple economic growth and increase in car use.
Challenge I - Providing sufficient waste management facilities
and providing for sand and gravel aggregates
- Providing sufficient waste management facilities to meet an
equivalent tonnage to the waste arising in the Borough and to
address a predicted gap between waste arising and capacity of
waste management facilities in the Borough.
- Providing for sand and gravel production to meet national and
regional targets as apportioned to the West Midlands County
sub-region, in the context of limited resources elsewhere in the
- To promote the management of waste arising in the Borough
further up the waste hierarchy and its treatment as a resource
to be used wherever possible.
- To address the capacity gap between waste arising and the
capacity of facilities by taking advantage of opportunities to
provide facilities for recycled materials, organic and residual
- To provide for a total of 7.2 to 8.6 million tonnes of
primary sand and gravel resources from sources across the West
Midlands Metropolitan Area for the Plan period to 2033,
including the maintenance of a minimum 7 year landbank, whilst
ensuring that provision is made to encourage the use of
secondary and recycled aggregates, that sand and gravel
resources are safeguarded from possible sterilisation by
non-mineral development, and that environmental, restoration and
aftercare criteria are met.
Challenge J - Improving health and wellbeing for everyone
- Significant health inequalities in the Borough, particularly
between North Solihull and the rest of the Borough.
- Incidence of unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours,
particularly in young people; an ageing older population, and
the need to improve the physical and mental health and well
being of those who visit, work and live in Solihull, in
accordance with the Health and Well-Being Strategy.
- Promote development that contributes to a healthy and safe
population by providing for opportunities to enable people to
pursue an active lifestyle and make healthier choices.
- Meet local housing and employment needs whilst facilitating
the provision of appropriate health care services to create
healthier safer communities.
- Ensure development promotes positive outcomes for physical
and mental health and wellbeing through its location, layout and
design, inclusion of appropriate levels of open space and the
protection and improvement of air quality.
Challenge K - Protecting and enhancing our natural assets
- Decline in the levels and quality of biodiversity across the
Borough, including sites of national importance such as the
River Blythe, loss of sites of local importance, and
fragmentation of habitats.
- Degrading of the historic Arden landscape character in parts
of the Borough.
- Managing the growth agenda so that ecosystem services
provided by natural assets are not harmed and thus undermine the
Borough's capacity for growth.
- Promote an ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation
- Halting and reversing decline and loss by conserving and
enhancing biodiversity and habitats of value.
- Contributing to local and sub-regional initiatives to
improve the natural environment.
- Reviewing and updating biodiversity information and the
network of local wildlife and geological sites.
- Addressing gaps in the strategic ecosystem network to
support wildlife and green infrastructure.
- Promote a landscape scale approach to protecting and
restoring the landscape of the Borough and its
Challenge L - Water quality and flood risk
- Poor or moderate quality of the Borough's main water bodies,
the Rivers Blythe and Cole and their tributaries, and increasing
risk of flooding associated with new development.
- To contribute towards improving the quality of the water
environment by ensuring that the Plan's policies and land
allocations help to protect and improve the quality of the main
water bodies in the Borough.
- To minimise the risk of flooding by avoiding development in
high risk areas wherever possible, reducing flows to rivers
during periods of high intensity rainfall, and ensuring that new
development is designed so as to minimise surface water flooding
Challenge M - Maximising the economic and social benefits of
the High Speed 2 rail link and the UKC Hub Area
- Securing amendment to the HS2 proposal for a Parkway style
interchange station with surface car parking, which could
undermine efforts to maximise the economic and social benefits
of the rail link.
- Creating a sense of place and arrival via a well connected
and integrated interchange, public realm and development
opportunities that help support the HS2 Growth Strategy
aspirations for employment, skills, environment and
- Ensuring appropriate infrastructure is in place that allows
the Interchange to be well connected to the nearby key economic
assets, including Birmingham Airport, the NEC and wider Hub area
so that they (and others) can take advantage of the opportunity
provided by HS2.
- To provide an appropriate planning framework so as to ensure
that the potential economic and social benefits of growth
enabled by the HS2 rail link and interchange station are
- Creation of a sense of place that draws upon a modern
interpretation of 'garden village' principles.
Challenge N - Mitigating the impacts of High Speed 2 and the
growth associated with the UKC Hub area
- Impact of construction works on the HS2 rail link and
interchange station on the environment, communities and
transport network, and subsequently during the operational
- Significant infrastructure requirements associated with the
rail link and interchange.
- Impact of the associated economic and housing growth on the
Borough's transport network, communities, environment and its
- To minimise the impacts of HS2 and the associated growth
during both the construction and operational phases and to
ensure that any unacceptable impacts are satisfactorily
1. Do you agree that we've identified the right challenges
facing the Borough? If not why not? Are there any
additional challenges that should be
 The challenges are not
set out in any priority order.
 Including ensuring
sufficient territory to new buildings and the opportunity to
provide adequate landscaping.