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There are limited opportunities for growth in the Mature Suburbs reflecting the built up nature of the area and the importance of maintaining the attractive open spaces that are so important to the Borough's character and well-being.
Restructuring of Solihull Town Centre – A refreshed master plan for Solihull Town Centre will highlight opportunities for alternative uses whilst ensuring that sufficient land is retained for retail and commercial uses. The masterplan highlights the potential for the identified opportunity sites to accommodate significant levels of residential development, and there are likely to be other windfall sites that come forward..
Redevelopment of Solihull Rail Station - Solihull rail station will be redeveloped to provide more modern facilities capable of handling the predicted increase in passengers in future years, following the decision not to pursue its relocation to the south-east. Improvements to the pedestrian route to and from the Town Centre, some of which have already been implemented, will make the redeveloped station more accessible to commuters, students and visitors.
Improving accessibility to and around Solihull Town Centre - A key challenge will be to manage the anticipated increase in traffic in the area, especially around Solihull Town Centre and the major road corridors. The Council is undertaking studies looking at key junctions within and close to the Town Centre. However, encouraging more people to use public transport, cycling and walking, rather than the private car for journeys to the Town Centre will be essential. Improving routes to/from the Town Centre and links to the adjacent parks for cyclists and pedestrians would help to make these alternative modes of travel more attractive.
Development Opportunities in Shirley Town Centre – Following completion of the Parkgate development and redevelopment of the Powergen site there are limited opportunities for further large scale developments, and therefore any further residential dwellings are likely to arise from windfall developments.
Re-use of Land allocated for Business/Retail Purposes – There are areas of older industrial estates that may be recycled for new uses, such as at Cranmore to the west and Lode Lane to the north. Most of the available land for business use has been developed, and some business areas may be available for alternative uses.
Provision of affordable housing – This will be challenging given the lack of significant opportunities for new housing in the Mature Suburbs. However, opportunities for housing will be identified through the refreshed Town Centre master plan and the urban extension to the east, which will provide a proportion of affordable housing.
Concept Master Plans – The plans that accompany this consultation include draft concept master plans for the sites proposed in the DLP2016.
Green Belt Enhancements - The revised NPPF makes provision for environmental and/or access improvements to be undertaken to land that is to remain in the Green Belt to compensate for land that is taken up for development. This provides an opportunity for enhancements to the green belt in the vicinity of Site 16 East of Solihull.
This site would comprise of an urban extension close to Solihull Town Centre. It will be located on land to the rear of the ribbon development that fronts the northern side of Hampton Lane. As a revision to the site put forward in the DLP, the northern boundary of the site is now intended to be formed by the Grand Union canal. This will enable the land between Lugtroat lane and the canal to come forward for development. The eastern boundary of the site will be formed by Field Lane.
The site is located within a parcel of lower performing Green Belt and has the potential to use strong defensible new boundaries.
Existing playing pitches on the site will either need to be retained or reprovided elsewhere.
Site 17 – Moat Lane/Vulcan Road (capacity 200)
This site is located in the urban area and is formed from the existing Council depot and industrial estate, which are expected to become available during the Plan period. They are located in an accessible location which is well served by public transport.
Site 18 – Sharman's Cross Road (capacity 100)
This site is in a largely residential area close to Solihull Town Centre. A previous planning application was refused solely because the proposals did not provide sufficient affordable housing, thus indicating that the principle for the development was considered acceptable.
Whilst the former sports ground has been disused for a number of years, compensation for the loss of playing pitches will be required.