‘Overbearing’: Solihull neighbours launch a petition to object to extension plans at home

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Neighbours raised a petition and and sent around 100 letters to oppose plans to extend a home in Solihull

A controversial plan to extend a home which attracted widespread complaints from neighbours has been rejected by Solihull planners. 

Solihull Council received around 100 letters and a petition with 89 signatures against the proposal to make the home in Kettlewell Way, in Fordbridge, larger.

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It was turned down at the latest meeting of Solihull Council’s planning committee. The applicant had applied for permission for a new porch, conversion, extension of garage, first floor side extension over the garage and single storey side extension at the rear.

Residents had raised concerns in their objections that there were fears the home was being turned into a ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO). But council officers stressed to the committee that although the floor plan included bedroom accommodation it would not accommodate more than six people. 

It was explained that this meant the expansion was permitted development on those grounds, with councillors urged to focus on design and amenity instead.  Many objections were raised that the proposal was out of character, there would be a loss of privacy and there was already minimal parking space in the area.

Scores of objections raised against plans to extend a home in SolihullScores of objections raised against plans to extend a home in Solihull
Scores of objections raised against plans to extend a home in Solihull

Officers recommended it for refusal saying nearby Burnsall Close residents would be impacted in a “materially harmful way”. Councillor David Cole, ward member for Fordbridge, said: “The application has roused a considerable response from the community who live in Kettlewell Way and the adjacent roads.

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“The proposed development is at the extreme end of Kettlewell Way, where the road is yellow lined. Fordbridge Town Council has agreed to support the residents in their opposition to the development.”

Objector Emma Hancock said: “Residents have concerns about how the immediate neighbourhood will be affected. Gardens are close in a back-to-back grid formation. A building of this proposed scale would have the effect of being claustrophobic and may take away and disturb enjoyment of existing outdoor spaces.”

She told the committee parking is “at a premier” and additional residents would exacerbate that issue too.  “Residents cannot see how this development would enrich or add value to the community,” she said.

Kettlewell Way in SolihullKettlewell Way in Solihull
Kettlewell Way in Solihull

During the debate councillors voiced they were against the proposal. Councillor Maggie Allen said: “This is obviously going to be an overbearing extension – I couldn’t agree more with Emma Hancock and the planners who know what they are doing.”

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Councillor Dave Pinwell said the proximity to neighbours was “unacceptably close” and “the scale of the extension is out of character with the local area.” Councillor Richard Holt, chairman of the committee added having seen the aerial photographs of the site he could see the impact the proposed extension would have on neighbours.

Councillors unanimously voted against the plan when it was put to the vote. It was officially rejected on the grounds of the “size, siting and relationship with the neighbouring properties”. The meeting was held at the authority’s Civic Suite on April 10.

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