An inspector from the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate has upheld an appeal by a property developer to build 13 4-bed roomed luxury homes with double garages on the stretch of natural woodland on the Thimblemill Rec site.
Ward councillor Richard Marshall who led the protest to the planning committee said, “This is a real sickener. I'm gutted, and very annoyed. This represents the last remaining piece of natural woodland in the whole of Smethwick, and I don't think due consideration was given to that. There are dozens of potential building sites within easy walking distance from here, but these people choose to run their bulldozers through an area of natural undeveloped woodland which contains bats, owls and a wide variety of insect species. Nor do I think anyone considered fully the highways issues in respect of the planned entrance on to Thimblemill Road. This is an already dangerous stretch of road, where children cross to get to school, and where safety measures have already had to be put in place, and yet it will now have yet another hazard point. If a child dies or is badly injured here, someone will have to examine their conscience, because I will be making clear to people that we advised in advance that it was dangerous.”
Abbey councillor Steve Eling said, “Yet again we find a faceless, unaccountable planning inspector kicks the local community in the teeth. Well over 1,000 people signed a petition opposing this development, and whilst we hear a lot of guff from the government about the so-called 'big society' or 'localism', but when it comes down to it they are vacuous remarks by people and a lot of hot air generated by people who don't give a damn what is in the local interest.”
Thank you for your post, I was anticipating the result of the decision, without, as you previously advised in a post, holding my breath. I am totally gutted about this sad news.
Can we further appeal? Thank goodness that the peace and solitude of the nearby cemetery is at least sacred, if not the wildlife habitat that resides in rec site. Very sad news indeed.
Sent from my iPhone
I’m afraid we have no right of appeal against the decision Lise.
Very sad News Bob but not totally surprised by it .Thanks for trying .
I can’t believe this. The inspector 0bviously could not care less, its not on his doorstep is it? I think it is a terrible shame and the club should be absoutely ashamed. Have they got no concience at all, if they did they would withdraw the application but it seems all they care about is the money! I am absolutlely sickened by the whole thing.
Do we have the name and role details of the individual who made the decision? Also, who are the developers?
The decision was taken by Mr. P N Jarratt BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
I read recently, with great interest, an article you included in your blog about the many other occasions when a local council decision has been overridden by this planning inspectorate department and wondered if I could find out how many times the original applications are actually upheld or rejected. I guess it would be a freedom of information request but who do I send it to?
If you submit an FoI request to the council they should be able to give you details.
Thanks for the info and I’ll put in a FOI request to Sandwell council, but I am more interested in the figures for the planning inspectorate as a whole. How often do they uphold any local authority decisions, or not, as the case may be, so should I apply to them directly or the Communities and Local Government department?
Dept of Commmunties and Local Govt I would guess.
We can’t let this go ahead without a fight. Which member of local government has betrayed the people of smethwick? I’m absolutely dismayed and appalled.
Local government refused the application, Alaina. It was the government’s Planning Inspectorate that overruled them.
to each and everyone of you who tried so hard to fight this, i thank you.Any chance if and when we have a change at no 10 the appeal could be heard again,or is it written in stone. perhaps when the bulldozers do arrive the will be stuck in traffic going to the cemetry where this stupid decision should have been put
Afraid not Hazel, the decision is final.
Money talks……no doubt the developers who can afford the best professional planning advice money can buy employed the best possible Planning Barrister to appeal the case and naturally they won against the Local Authority who cannot afford top Barristers but who WERE on our side all along and rejected the Planning Application…..
No doubt Planning Law will have been adhered to though…..lining the pockets of the lawyers and the firms of Planning Advisers which each side is obliged to use……I worked on Planning Applications when I worked at Birmingham City Council so know how the corrupt system works……the little man always loses as…..as I said those with the deepest pockets always win.
The sooner we get rid of Cameron and his rich business chronies the better…..they have just trampled all over local sentiment and feeling and slapped the people of Bearwood in the face….
It is a shame that we have such a great piece of well managed local woodland on our doorstep in Warley Woods and yet these developers choose to destroy OUR environment to make a fast buck for themselves and Thimblemill Recreation Ground……..shameful!
Who are the ‘developers’ and who has posted the application for planning permission?
Im at the polling station at the moment, but you can see the full set of documents here: http://planapps.sandwell.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?appType=Planning&appNumber=DC/14/56819
Absolutely disgraceful. I hope the new owners of these “luxury houses” will be made fully aware of what has been destroyed in order to accommodate them.