A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build homes on green space in Oldbury has been withdrawn.

The bid to build 13 homes on Brook Road Open Space on Wolverhampton Road - next to the PDSA pet hospital site - was withdrawn by the developer as councillors met to discuss the scheme.

The proposal was for a mix of five bedroom homes with detached garages and four bedroom homes with an integral garage.

The application stated the site was sold to the applicant Rajesh Kumar Sood by Sandwell Council for the development of houses.

The plan was the second attempt to build on the land after a similar application was thrown out in March.

An original plan for 14 homes was rejected on the grounds of inadequate parking, over-development, flood risk and the loss of open space despite the council selling the land as suitable for housing in 2016. 

The latest application had the full support of planning officers who said there were no grounds to refuse the scheme.

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In their report to councillors they said: “Highways have stated that parking provision is plentiful and have raised no concerns in regards to highway safety; the Lead Local Flood Authority has raised no objection in respect of flood risk (furthermore, the site does not meet the criteria for comment by the Environment Agency); and the loss of open space cannot be credibly upheld as a reason for refusal, due to the site being long identified as surplus to the council’s open space requirements.”

Recommending councillors approve the development, they added: “The proposal offers a housing scheme within the context of an established residential area which will assist in contributing toward the shortfall of housing identified within Sandwell. 

“Considering the comments of consultees, there are no robust planning grounds to withhold planning permission. The proposal is acceptable from a planning perspective and is recommended for approval subject to conditions.”

The application had stated that affordable housing would not be included as: "given that the development would provide 13 units, and taking into account both the time it took to reach a recommendation and the time lost from the refusal of the previous application I find it unreasonable to comply with affordable housing standards."

The design and access statement read: "Should this application be rejected again without sufficient proof, it will leave the applicant with no option but to go for appeal."

No explanation for the withdrawal was given and officers did not say if the plans would be re-submitted at a later date. It was withdrawn as councillors met last Wednesday (September 9) for the planning committee meeting.

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