Locals to be kept waiting for decision on 250 new homes on farm site

By James Smith

18th Apr 2024 | Local News

Barwood Land's plans would see some chicken runs demolished to make way for the 250 houses (image via planning application)
Barwood Land's plans would see some chicken runs demolished to make way for the 250 houses (image via planning application)

Locals are set to be kept waiting until June to find out whether 250 homes near the Berkswell Windmill will be given planning permission.

Developer Barwood Land has applied for planning permission from Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) for the development between Hob Lane and Windmill Lane between Kenilworth and Balsall Common.

If approved, the scheme would see a farm, chicken runs, commercial units and a caravan storage site flattened to make way for the estate.

Originally the plans were for 270 homes at Pheasant Oak Farm, but have now been reduced to 250.

Plans were first put forward last autumn. But now SMBC has agreed with Barwood not to make a final decision on the application until the June planning committee meeting, a letter to the developer has revealed.

"The provision of public open space and new children's play areas as part of the proposed green infrastructure framework has the potential to create greater opportunities for open air recreation within the setting of Balsall Common's eastern fringe," the application said.

The masterplan for the proposed Pheasant Oak Farm development (image via planning application)

Plans show 40 per cent of the houses would be designated affordable housing, and five per cent would be available for self build projects.

The developer would also upgrade the Millennium Way, which cuts through the site.

Barwood said it would build a new pedestrian crossing point on Waste Lane, and "enhance" the existing footpath and cycleways, also adding more to improve connection to the village centre.

"The homes will be surrounded by extensive landscaping and we will create new public areas of open greenspace to enhance the rural character of the area, and for the benefit of both new residents and the wider local community," the developer said.

"The proposed layout will create new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the site, allowing safe and sustainable travel from the development into the centre of Balsall and beyond. 

"The popular Millennium Way pedestrian route will also be significantly upgraded to encourage further use."

The application says the new estate is a 20-minuet walk from the centre of Balsall Common (image via planning application)

Residents and councillors raised a number of concerns during the consultation, including the impact on locals roads and car parking the village centre.

Some locals also said the application was premature.

The site is currently in the draft version of the new local plan, but is allocated for only 220 houses.

But locals have also been left waiting to see the finalised version of the new local plan, after the review of the plan by the planning inspectorate plan was paused earlier this year by SMBC "to enable the finalised version of the National Planning Policy Framework to be published".

The developer has already successfully brought forward new housing schemes in Kenilworth and Warwick.

See the full application here.


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