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Sunday December 16 2018

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Garden housing plan

Posted on July 30 2018 at 12:52:18

A housing developer is eyeing up Green Belt garden land in Barnt Green for a potential 20-home estate.

Spitfire Homes has an option on almost 2.5 acres of land behind homes on Bittell Road, running north-west towards the playing fields run by Barnt Green Parish Council.

The parish council was told about the plans by Katherine Else, of Claremont Planning Consultancy, who stressed they were in the “very, very early stages”.

She added: “All we have done is written to Bromsgrove District Council and identified that Spitfire has control of the site.”

Access to the land would be via 87 Bittell Road, where the existing bungalow would be demolished.

“We are aware it is a busy road and there will be discussions with the county council,” she explained.

Ms Else said the housing density sought by Bromsgrove for a site of this size would be 20-35 homes, but Spitfire would be looking at the lower end because of the number of trees on the land.

“It is considered to be brownfield land as it is garden land at the moment,” she said, adding: “The site is Green Belt but previously developed land is sequentially preferable to adjacent open fields.

“We are timetabling a planning application at the moment because this is Green Belt and policy says ‘No’. It will be early next year when Bromsgrove will start putting together consideration of sites for Green Belt review.

“This is about working with all councils in promoting this site as a Green Belt release.”

She confirmed the plan would include a 40 per cent affordable housing allocation.

District and county councillor Peter McDonald, who was at the presentation made by Claremont to Barnt Green Parish Council, said: “What you might call affordable is not really affordable because of the area we are in. Taking 20 per cent off a price here does not make it affordable.”

He added: “ And when people talk about 106 money, it means they might pay half a million to build affordable homes somewhere else.”

Parish chairman Robert Cholmondeley asked: “If approval was given could there be money for a footpath across the playing field into the village facilities, such as the station?”

Ms Else replied: “Yes definitely. That’s something really tangible that we can deliver.”

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