Bennett Road planning refusal victory for local residents and determined Councillors

16th March 2011

Determined residents and Four Oaks Councillors have secured a significant victory against garden grabbing said Andrew Mitchell MP last week after Birmingham City planners threw out an application to build five houses on back gardens in Bennett Road, Sutton Coldfield.

Andrew Mitchell MP congratulated local Councillors Peter Howard, Anne Underwood and Maureen Cornish for their hard work and determination in securing the refusal from Birmingham City Council.

Councillor Peter Howard who worked closely with Bennett Road residents from start to finish said, “I was proud to work alongside the objectors and be with them at the Planning Committee to hear the good news last week.”

231 objections were raised against the proposal to erect 5 houses at the rear of 16 Bennett Road in Four Oaks.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “The issue of garden grabbing has caused enormous concern and anxiety in Sutton Coldfield ever since the unwise decisions of John Prescott over a decade ago saw people’s gardens defined as appropriate for development proposals.

“This result is a significant victory for local objectors and our determined Councillors. I am extremely pleased with the outcome. Bringing an end to garden grabbing was a top priority of the Coalition so this result is of more than local significance. I have passed my congratulations to our three hard working Four Oaks Councillors who were also extremely concerned about this application and worked tirelessly alongside local objectors to secure the win.”

In January of this year Sutton’s MP took the unprecedented step to get involved in the Bennett Road application after the plans appeared to contradict new national planning advice brought in by the Coalition Government. Planning matters in general are delegated by Parliament to local councils.

Mr Mitchell held detailed discussions with both Birmingham City Council’s Chief Executive and Planning Department about the issues relating to Bennett Road and also raised the matter directly with the Secretary of State for Communities Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP.