A controversial £20 million housing development by Persimmon Homes is to go ahead after a Government inspector overturned a decision by Solihull Council to refuse it planning permission.
The housebuilder had appealed against the refusal for the 125-home scheme on a 13-acre site at Moat House Farm in Elmdon Road, Marston Green, after the council’s planning committee unanimously rejected it in July last year.
Persimmon Homes South Midlands managing director Richard Oldroyd said: “Obtaining planning consent for the Moat House Farm development is a major landmark for both Persimmon Homes and the local area.
“The approval of the plans will benefit the local community with much needed housing and jobs.
“The site redevelopment will provide a mixture of two, three and four bedroom homes, suitable as first-time buyer starter homes through to larger properties for growing families.”
The appeal decision follows a lengthy campaign by local residents who opposed to the scheme.
Action group Marston Green Optimising Our Development (MGOOD) was set up in a bid to protect the site which locals said was important green space.
Group spokeswoman Linda Poulson described the scheme as “horrific” and said the village was “bursting at the seams”.
Persimmon was represented at the public inquiry by Jeremy Cahill QC, head of the planning group at Birmingham’s No5 Chambers.
Mr Cahill, who was instructed by Tony Bateman of Pegasus Planning Group in Sutton Coldfield, submitted a number of arguments, including that planning permission should be granted given that Solihull Council could not demonstrate an up-to-date five-year supply of deliverable housing.
The inquiry upheld this line, pointing out that the Government’s ministerial statement Planning for Growth expects local planning authorities to allow development and growth wherever possible.
The inspector, Jessica Graham, determined there was “a significant shortfall in deliverable housing land supply” and the council was therefore bound to consider planning applications favourably if a proposal centred on a site that was suitable for housing, the development made effective and efficient use of the land and achieved a good mix of housing.
It had previously been acknowledged by Solihull Council that the Persimmon proposal met all those conditions and the inspector agreed.
The council had raised concerns that more than 50 per cent of the affordable dwellings provided would be close to the West Coast mainline.