Five developments that could change the face of Solihull

A year of planning projects debated in 2022 will change the face of Solihull as we know it. Thousands of new homes and enormous infrastructure are in the pipeline for the borough and will go on to shape Solihull for years to come. Census data revealed this year that Solihull's population is ageing fast.

In 2021 there were roughly 45,000 residents over the age of 65. This, along with Solihull's peaceful villages and green space, has seen a string of planning applications for care homes in 2022. Meanwhile, HS2 and other developers have big plans for the borough over the next few years.

These are some developments that will change Solihull's future:

Arden Cross - the GBP3.2 billion 'mini-town'

A CGI of the HS2 Interchange StationA CGI of the HS2 Interchange Station

Solihull's massive new Arden Cross development - dubbed a 'mini town' by West Midlands mayor Andy Street - will see GBP3.2 billion poured into the area. The sprawling project will introduce thousands of new homes, millions of square feet of commercial space, and schools across 340 acres, just minutes from the planned HS2 interchange station. Alongside the residential and commercial schemes will be a GBP95 million car park for HS2's Interchange Station, connecting Solihull, Birmingham Airport and the NEC.

The car park is set to provide roughly 7,500 car parking spaces.

Hundreds of homes at The Green, Shirley

CGI of flats overlooking Stratford Road on The Green, ShirleyCGI of flats overlooking Stratford Road on The Green, Shirley

Up to 300 homes on The Green in Shirley will create an entirely new neighbourhood opposite the roundabout on Stratford Road and Cranmore Boulevard. Plans for the new housing estate were approved in 2022 and will be made up of apartments, terraces, semi-detached and detached houses. A Jaguar Land Rover dealership and a self-storage facility are also set for the site.

Councillors approved the plans despite the loss of some 300 trees, some of which are mature maples and could take 15 years to reach the height of the current ones.

HS2 viaducts set to plough through Solihull

A view from a footpath that looks down the Balsall Common viaductA view from a footpath that looks down the Balsall Common viaduct

Two giant viaducts built to carry the high-speed trains of the future will cut through leafy areas of Solihull, rousing strong opinions from locals. One Solihull resident called the designs a 'procession of concrete' and objected to the proposed V-shaped pillars propping up the enormous structure. Residents of Balsall Common in particular have been plagued by noise and dust from HS2's extensive works in the area.

Husband and wife John and Michele Bryant told the LDRS earlier this year: "It is extremely annoying. Where the woods were, it was beautiful. We knew it was coming, but we didn't realise just how bad it would be.

"During the heatwave," John continued, "the site was like a dust-bowl. Then cool air would blow over the earth and it felt like a blow heater." HS2 has said new viaduct designs are set to be released in early 2023.

Former Shirley pub could make way for care home with its own livestock

A CGI image of what the care home could look likeA CGI image of what the care home could look like

The former Prince of Wales pub on the far western side of Shirley High Street could be knocked down and a care home erected in its place.

Developer GNM plans to build a 'unique' 72-bed care facility that would employ 90 staff. The facility would include a specialist dementia ward, a hair and nail salon, a coffee room, a cinema and virtual reality room, plus an infection-controlled visiting area. It would also have a courtyard with added green space, allowing residents to grow fruit and vegetables, and keep livestock such as goats, pigs, miniature cattle, chickens and beehives.

Documents claimed a decision on the care home would be made in November 2021, but so far nothing has been announced.

Successful appeal to turn much-loved garden centre into care home

Masterplan for the retirement village intended for the Wyndley site, on the Warwick Road.Masterplan for the retirement village intended for the Wyndley site, on the Warwick Road.

Another controversial care home in Solihull - this time over in Knowle. A much-loved local garden centre on Warwick Road will become a sprawling retirement community after an appeal was successfully launched this year. Developer Knowle Care Ltd submitted plans in 2020 to flatten Wyndley Garden Centre and build a facility for the elderly made up of 39 care suites and 46 care apartments.

The application was rejected in April 2021 due to inappropriate use of Green Belt land and concerns over the scale of the facility.

However, an appeal was launched in March 2022 and was successful, providing that the retirement village harmonises with its surroundings, among other conditions.