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18th Jul 2018
Vital flood defence measures which could have prevented repeated deluges of Selly Oak have been put on hold over concerns relating to the size and design of a linked six-storey student housing block.
The planning committee of Birmingham were unanimous in its support of a £4 million flood alleviation channel on the former Pebble Mill site, which according to the Environment Agency would have protected 150 homes and Pershore Road from severe flooding in June this year and an earlier inundation back in 2008.
However, the £4 million scheme would be partly funded by the construction of a 340-bed student accommodation scheme, located next to the new Dental Hospital, to which there is strong local opposition.
With government only prepared to cover half the cost, the contributions from the student development scheme are seen as vital if the project is to go ahead.
Unfortunately planning committee members voted five to three against the student housing scheme, with some members wanting more detail on the design of the blocks and others totally against the idea suggesting the proposal was not suitable at all.
There were also concerns over the lack of parking for the 340 students that would accommodate the site, with councillors suggesting the area was already congested.
Despite the objections rather than reject the plan outright the committee has deferred it, allowing the architect to provide more detailed plans as well as reassurance over the quality of the flood defence.
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