Solihull Local Plan (Draft Submission) 2020
Ended on the 14 December 2020
- Welcome to the Council's Local Plan. This is one of the most important strategies that the Council produces. It influences so many aspects of our lives – where we live, where we work, how we get there; and of course how we ensure that Solihull remains the special place that it is.
- It wouldn't be a local plan if it didn't have difficult decisions to make – and the most contentious is usually around the scale and distribution of new growth. The clear message from Government is that we must significantly boost the supply of homes for all our communities. We cannot keep escaping the issue; and, to maintain control of our destiny and deliver a net zero carbon future we have to deliver this plan. We share the sadness of the loss of Green Belt land but we have no option.
- Most recognise that this new growth is needed to ensure we have places to live and jobs that we can access. Unfortunately, brownfield land alone won't provide the solution and, reluctantly, we must release some Green Belt land. However we have looked to minimise this and in doing so ensured the continued integrity of the significant Green Belt that remains.
- But it is not just about the numbers, we need quality and diverse housing that can be assimilated into, and support, our existing communities. We are using concept masterplans for the major allocations which set out from the start where we want to see development coming forward, and where the opportunities are for 'green and blue infrastructure' which provide the green lungs and open spaces that are vitally important. The plans also show where significant new tree planting can take place and identify where important infrastructure is to be provided as part of the development.
- Opportunity has been taken to ensure the plan captures our aspirations around the climate change agenda. It is an opportunity to incorporate our Climate Change declaration into a statutory plan. Climate Change is crosscutting across so many areas; this has shaped our thinking about a whole range of issues, from where development takes place; to how biodiversity can be protected and enhanced; and how to make progress towards our ambitions to be zero carbon by 2041.
- The arrival of HS2 in the Borough, with the first station outside of London being only 38 minutes away from the capital, represents a unique opportunity for us, and we must ensure a proper planning framework is in place so we can maximise on its benefits.
- What we have now is what we would describe as a plan for people and places; where wellbeing and the environment matter.
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of the Council
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member Climate Change, Planning & Housing