Friday September 20 2019



In Full . . .

Our fields are not easy pickings, say villagers

Posted on January 31 2019 at 2:25:49


Villagers gave a resounding vote of approval to the Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan, with 97 per cent voting in favour.

The plan is now expected to be ratified at Bromsgrove District Council’s cabinet meeting next month.

This will give the plan, developed over the past six years, legal weight in the consideration of any planning applications decided upon by Bromsgrove.

Parish chairman Andy Humphries said the referendum sent a strong message to developers who see village green fields as “easy pickings”.

The vote in favour was produced by a referendum held on January 10 to get formal backing for the plan from the community.

There were 1,629 votes cast, with only 54 of these opposing the plan – presumably opponents were mostly people with interests in developing land in Alvechurch Parish.

The turnout was just over 36 per cent, which is considerably higher than the number of people who come out to vote in local elections.

Once adopted, the plan will be the first to reach this stage in Bromsgrove district. Lickey & Blackwell and Cofton parishes are working on a joint plan, while Barnt Green has agreed to pay for a consultant to help its parish develop a plan.

Alvechurch Parish Council, which oversaw the creation of the plan, told The Village: “Overwhelming public support for the plan shows that local people are very unhappy at the prospect of major new housing developments unnecessarily diminishing Green Belt land in Alvechurch Parish.

“Large housing developments would mean the road infrastructure would struggle, community facilities like schools and GPs couldn’t cope and key parts of the rural character of the parish would be lost.

“Alvechurch demands that development must be sustainable in our parish.”

It added, however, that the parish would embrace “future housing growth which is sustainable, meets local needs and doesn’t harm the surrounding environment.”

The Alvechurch Plan was put together by a steering group of councillors and local residents, chaired by Coun Adrian Smith, of Hopwood, who led the project from the start.

He said: ”Let’s hope our local authority and the Government now give strong support to this community-backed Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan.”

Return to Front Page