Solihull and Birmingham councils appear to be placing the interests of developers above those of established residents and businesses, aided and abetted by ‘new permitted development rights’ – quietly passed without any parliamentary debate.
The construction of Blythe Valley Business Park was permitted on the understanding that it only provided office accommodation (below). Earlier this year, however, Solihull Council admitted application No. 2014/667 to vary conditions and allow the owners of the premises to ‘conduct industrial uses on the site’ (Cllr Hawkins’ phrase).
Though the councillor visited the factory to be relocated from Bromsgrove and made a video showing evidence of noise and other nuisance emanating from the factory, the change was approved.
The Post reports that ‘new permitted development rights’ have enabled city developer Court Collaboration and Hong Kong-based Headland Developments to ‘transform’ Franklin House, the former head office of Cadbury in Bournville, into an apartment block.
Will the Digbeth situation recur?
A spokesperson for Cadbury owner Mondelez International said it opposed the development: “We . . . believe it is inappropriate to have residential property so close to a factory which is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.
Will the new Bournville residents call for the limitation or even closure of the Bournville factory as they did in the city centre, harassing the Rainbow, Fiddle and Bone, Spotted Dog and the Nightingale Club, as the Post recorded?