Company News

Strategic urban extension for Solihull local plan

November 7, 2022

Rickett Architects were approached via our Planning Consultancy to promote this site as a Strategic Urban Extension (SUE) for up to 750 units, through the Solihull Local Plan Review.  The landowner had become disillusioned with the numerous approaches direct from PLC housebuilders and wanted to retain control of the process.

 Rickett Architects has worked with the landowners and other consultants to secure the allocation in the Local Plan.  This has involved co-ordinating a very full suite of supporting studies across the entire 140-acre site in order to justify the site’s exclusion from the Green Belt.  Key to this has been the preparation of a detailed Masterplan to demonstrate both the site’s deliverability and that the wider impact upon the Green Belt in this area can be managed and compensated for in such a way that the overall form and function of the Green Belt will be maintained.

Through various iterations and by maintaining open and constructive dialogue with the LPA Policy team and a willingness to contribute to substantial infrastructure studies, our planning consultants have negotiated a positive position with Solihull Borough Council

The success of this approach is measured not just by the allocation of the site in the Solihull Local Plan Review but also by the fact that this allocation, now entirely on our client’s land, replaces an earlier proposed allocation on adjoining Council owned land.  This was achieved through Rickett Architects working with the Council to demonstrate the greater sustainability and other wider benefits that could be achieved by relocating the original proposed housing allocation entirely onto their client’s land (Woods Farm), while retaining the perceived community benefit of the council owned land for local residents.

We are now discussing the preparation of an outline planning application for the allocation, through preapp discussions with Solihull Borough Council, with the expectation of delivering a consent in 2023. We continue to press for the full 750 units on the basis the site is sustainable and deliverable,  as other large allocations in the district face infrastructure and delivery issues and the Council has included our proposed delivery timescale in the Submission Local Plan.