Decision Maker: Cabinet,
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet was provided with an update on progress made on the proposed residential development of the former Simon Digby site, Chelmsley Wood, and sought approvals necessary to bring the site forward for delivery.
Members were reminded that the Simon Digby site was allocated in the Solihull Local Plan (2013) for residential development of approximately 200 dwellings. To bring the site forward, the Council had used funds from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to assemble the land interests.
The report detailed the feasibility work done to support the project and the four shortlisted development options which had been considered, of which Officers were recommending Option 2 – Central Case: Residential Development (177 units) with fence screening and A452 Chester Road access.
Members were also advised that five delivery options had been considered and the Developer Delivery model was believed to be the most time and cost efficient approach, as it minimised risk to the Council and also reduced the interface risk of the development phases.
On commenting on the report Members felt it was important to try harder to align this development with the Councils aspirations for zero carbon, seek better design and orientation of the buildings, and on this basis it was suggested that option 2 be removed from the recommendation.
It was recognised by Members that more housing was needed, but this was a green space which was a meaningful amenity for residents, in area which was built up. It was suggested that other possible sites could be considered within Chelmsley Wood Town Centre, such as the library to bring forward housing which would be more sustainable, than what was being proposed in the report.
In responding to these points the Leader advised the proposed development of Chelmsley Wood Town Centre was a very complex piece of work with a longer time frame, and the site suggested would not deliver the same number of units and meet affordable/social housing need. The Leader also referenced the plan attached to the public report which detailed the efforts to create green accessible space. Officers confirmed that infrastructure requirements had been built into the plan.
(i) That the preparation and submission of an Outline Business Case to the West Midlands Combined Authority be approved;
(ii) That the preparation and submission of an Outline Planning Application, including the undertaking of pre-application consultation be approved;
(iii) That the advertising of the intention to appropriate c. 5ha of land, consisting of public open space shaded yellow on the plan attached at Appendix 3 (“the Open Space Land”), for planning purposes (as defined in section 246(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and in accordance with section 122(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the 1972 Act”) be approved;
(iv) That it be agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive, acting in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to consider any objections to the proposed appropriation of the Open Space Land received;
(v) That the appropriation of the Open Space Land, for planning purposes in accordance with section 122(1) of the 1972 Act on the date immediately following the grant of outline planning permission for the development be approved;
(vi) That the developer delivery model to implement the scheme be approved; and
(vii) That it be agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Resources & Deputy Chief Executive, acting in consultation with Leader of the Council, to procure a preferred developer, following completion of a compliant procurement process, and to dispose of the freehold interest in the land on the agreed final terms, (provided these meet the minimum required criteria, as detailed within the Appendix 1).
Report author: Perry Wardle
Publication date: 16/07/2021
Date of decision: 15/07/2021
Decided at meeting: 15/07/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 24/07/2021