No ‘pink doors with yellow spots’ for historic street in Solihull
Stricter rules for planning permission introduced in part of a Solihull suburb could be extended to other historic houses nearby.
It has been agreed this month that measures to protect the character of St Bernards Road – requiring residents to seek approval for minor changes – would be made permanent.
The tighter controls, initially introduced for a six month period, followed concerns from some locals that the road’s imposing homes could be at risk.
The council has said it will consider options to take similar steps in other sections of the Olton conservation area, with hopes this would preserve the appearance of other notable buildings in the likes of Kineton Green Road.
Originally supporters of the policy had focused on St Bernards Road, having conceded that widening the net further would involve consultation with a larger group of residents.
Cllr Bob Grinsell (Con, Olton), who was involved in the campaign, this week told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that he was “very pleased” with the decision to confirm the change.
“I live in Olton, I drive through there daily, I love where I live and want to retain its character long into the future,” he said.
“[The policy] is to stop people tarmacking over their cobbled driveway, it’s to stop them putting in uPVC windows in place of wood or painting their door pink with yellow spots.”
He said that the Kineton Green Road home where amateur naturalist Edith Holden had lived in the early 20th century was an example of the sort of property where the policy could be extended in future.
“I don’t think you could apply it across the whole conservation area … that would be silly. And I think there would be a lot of people opposed to it.
“There are other little pockets that could be conserved and I would be supportive of that.”
Cllr Andy Mackiewicz, cabinet member for climate change, planning and housing, signalled that a second phase would examine the wider neighbourhood.
“I would be minded to consult widely and just decide what buildings in that conservation area are worth preserving and do it in one big bang and not piecemeal,” he said.
Residents who led the drive in St Bernards Road had been spurred into action after one property’s windows were “ripped out” and replaced with more modern fixtures.
The homeowner in question had not done anything wrong under the old system, but the case raised concerns that a series of minor changes could eventually transform the historic street beyond recognition.
Supporters argue the conservation area is unique in Solihull as it contains a “tour-de-force of architecture” from 1845 to 2000, rather than a set of buildings from one particular era.
Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/no-pink-doors-yellow-spots-17051297