75 new homes near Coventry approved on green belt land

The proposed homes in Meriden.
The proposed homes -Credit:Nicol Thomas Architects/Solihull Council

The construction of 75 new affordable homes on green belt land has been given overwhelming support by councillors. Despite the development being planned for green belt land, not a single objection was raised against the scheme.

The proposed site on the northern edge of Meriden would offer a variety of housing options including social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership homes, developers say. The plans for the Maxstoke Lane site include a range of properties "from one-bedroom maisonettes to four-bedroom houses".

There were initial doubts about whether the scheme would receive approval from Solihull Council's planning committee due to previous commitments by senior leaders to protect the green belt. However, officers recommended the scheme for approval.

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They say applicant Stonewater - one of the UK's largest social housing providers - has demonstrated very special circumstances. Officers also noted in their report to the committee that "the site is identified as a potential allocation for residential development in the emerging Local Plan Review for up to 100 dwellings".

During the latest planning meeting, Coun Edward Fitter asked if there had been many objections to the proposal from residents. Officers responded: "It is a quite unusual application - there hasn't been a single objection received from any local residents. The parish council didn't object to the proposal and we haven't received any negative comments in relation to the scheme," reports Birmingham Live.

Councillor Mark Wilson commented on the proposal, saying: "Generally this looks fairly positive. I know this area well." He noted that fly-tipping had been an issue in the vicinity and suggested that new housing could help prevent it in the future.

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The proposed homes -Credit:Nicol Thomas Architects/Solihull Council

Wilson raised a question about potential contamination at the proposed site. In response, officers indicated: "There is some historical evidence of a hospital on the site at some point and there is a query whether the site has been used as a quarry. That's why a contaminated land condition is required and that will need to be looked into further by the applicant."

The committee ultimately gave their approval, with conditions, by a decisive eight votes to none against, and one abstention during the meeting held at the Civic Suite on May 15.

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