Plans for major expansion to Shirley hotel gets the green light but not everyone is happy

Village Hotel, Shirley expansion plans.
-Credit: (Image: 3DReid/Solihull Council)


A village hotel has been given permission to build a major extension after planners were failed to be convinced by residents against the scheme. Village Hotels submitted plans for a 48-bedroom extension to the 128 bed 'business-class' hotel in Shirley including the reconfiguration of the existing car park, landscaping and associated works.

The scheme went before the latest meeting of Solihull Council’s planning committee. Lawrence Osborne, a planning officer at the council, reminded councillors a similar scheme was given approval in 2018 but as work had not begun within the three-year time limit permission had expired. He added officers had recommended the new scheme be approved.

Tim Henderson, one of the residents objecting, showed slides to the committee demonstrating how sunlight would be “severely blocked” into his garden. He claimed people parked “where they want” on the hotel's car park including on pavements.

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“To date, I have had my fence damaged three times by vehicles,” he said, showing a picture of one occasion. The resident also claimed there had been anti-social behaviour adding: “On two occasions (recently) fighting has broken out among England fans with families there.”

Residents fence damaged. Picture: Solihull Council
Residents fence damaged. Picture: Solihull Council -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Councillor Max McLoughlin, whose Shirley South ward covers the area where the Dog Kennel Lane-hotel is based, said cars parked for various reasons on the car park including to stay at the hotel, use the bar and the gym. “Overcapacity is at peak times,” he said.

“Cars are left abandoned outside of parking bays. The calculation only six (extra) spaces are needed for an additional 48 bedrooms is beyond ridiculous.” But Kate Roberts, from the Pegasus group - the agent for the applicant - called the scheme a “modest extension”.

She explained the extension was needed for guests using the conference facilities. “Guests stay for two to three days but currently there are no bed spaces to accommodate them overnight,” she said.

The agent added a car park management plan was proposed including the implementation of a one way system and CCTV. During the debate chairman of the committee, Bob Grinsell, said he had been to the hotel on a number of occasions for functions.

Village Hotel, Shirley
Village Hotel, Shirley -Credit:Google Maps

“Car parking is difficult to say the least,” Coun Grinsell said. Councillor Mark Wilson said when he visited the site recently the car park was so full he didn’t even try to park.

“I have massive issues with this - it impacts residents' lives as well," he said. But councillor Dave Pinwell said the application was very similar to the one approved in 2018 adding: “On the basis of precedent I can find not many reasons for rejecting this.”

Councillor Edward Fitter said: “The concern I have, if we have even more poorly parked vehicles, is access for emergency services.” But the planning officer said highways had considered this and made no objections.

When the plan was put to the vote members voted to approve by eight votes with one against. The meeting took place at the Civic Suite on Wednesday, (July 10).

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