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In Full . . .

Hands off, Brum!

Posted on March 30 2017 at 10:55:42

Birmingham is hoping to grab land in our village Green Belt while refusing to consider housing on its own vacant site close by, it has emerged.

Plans for 1,000 homes on the former North Worcestershire Golf Club at Longbridge have been stymied by Birmingham planners.

The site has not even been included in the just-adopted Birmingham Development Plan, which contains proposals for housing in the city up to 2031.

The head of Birmingham planning, Waheed Nazir, has said of the redundant golf club site: “Development on open space is contrary to national and local planning policies and this is not a site being promoted as necessary to meet our housing need.”

Yet Bromsgrove is being asked to consider where it could provide land for up to 2,000 homes to help Birmingham meet its housing targets. The only land that could be is in the Green Belt.

Bromsgrove independent councillor Charlie Hotham represents Barnt Green and Hopwood, both of which could be affected by cross-border creep from Birmingham.

He told The Village: “It is difficult to understand how North Worcestershire Golf Club, which has the potential for 1,000 houses, is not currently planned to be developed, whereas at the same time, Birmingham City Council is asking if a suitable site can be found for them on Bromsgrove Green Belt land.

“It is quite clear that prior to Bromsgrove district providing any development land over and above our existing internal needs, Birmingham must demonstrate that all of its own sites have been used or are planned to be used for housing.

“The golf club site is plum next to us: its name is North Worcestershire and we live in North Worcestershire.

“It seems the reasons given by Birmingham for refusing to include it in their development plan are exactly the same reasons that we use to suggest the Green Belt should not be developed.”

He added: “They need to provide very detailed explanations of why the golf course site is not usable.

“One of the functions of the Green Belt is to prevent coalescence of settlements – and it provides that for Barnt Green, Hopwood and Wythall.”

Coun Hotham said he would be raising the matter at the Bromsgrove Local Development Forum, created after pressure from independent councillors to ensure councillors have an overview on all aspects of the Green Belt review.

Before the forum was set up, he added, it had been likely that the Green Belt review would be overseen by council officers.

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