Councillors Glenis Slater and Martin Hewings, along with The Revd. Toby Crowe, held a public meeting on Friday January 27th to discuss the implications of Jaguar Land Rover's planning application for a Logistics Centre next to Damson Parkway.
Over 40 people braved filthy weather on a cold Friday evening to travel to the Church in the Park in Elmdon Park to attend the meeting.
A detailed presentation (compiled by a local resident) was delivered by Liberal Democrat Councillors Glenis Slater and Martin Hewings.
It explained in detail how the traffic flows are intended to work, with the additional junctions, roundabout and traffic lights. It also showed views, before and after, of the impact of the development on the local landscape.
During questions and answers, concern was expressed on many topics, including:
- The likely traffic chaos that would ensue through the considerable increase in vehicle movements, without corresponding investment in the surrounding infrastructure roads
- The need for the multi-storey car park accommodating nearly 1500 spaces and the impact this size would have on the local roads, as well as Damson Parkway
- The negative impact upon Elmdon Park, Elmdon Church, the residents who live in the Park and the peaceful enjoyment of the open green space
- The loss of the last remaining green belt in Elmdon (outside the Park)
- The impact on local wild life
- The impact on the health of the local community
- The need for considerably more investment in softening the screening, light defusing and noise deadening, if the LOC were to go ahead
- The need for enhanced investment in wildlife habitat to replace that lost, if this proposal were to go ahead
- The impact upon Solihull Moors FC and its ground Damson Park.
- The development should not go ahead whilst the Solihull Local Plan is out for public consultation, including the future use of this area of land
The meeting recognised the importance of JLR to the local, regional and national economy, but saw no reason why this prosperity should not be shared more widely. Elmdon would like others to share in it!
JLR admit that this development will not result in more employment but will improve their profitability through greater efficiency in the logistics operations. So this proposal is likely to lead to a loss of jobs, not in JLR, but in associated logistics companies. Greater efficiency means fewer jobs.
Only 20% of Solihull's JLR workers are based in Solihull. Therefore 80 % are travelling to Solihull from across the West and East Midlands. This proposal will result in even more people travelling into Solihull on its already overcrowded roads.
The official consultation ends soon, so we urge all local residents to respond to the application with their comments.
(This story was updated on January 29th to reflect the fact that the meeting had taken place)