Cabinet take a step closer to Sutton Coldfield green belt armageddon
21st October 2013
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet today signed off on the controversial Birmingham Development Plan 2031 (pre-submission version), which will see two sections of Sutton Coldfield’s green belt carpeted over with 6,000 houses and 80ha of industrial units.
The Council says the City’s population is projected to grow by an additional 150,000 people over the period to 2031 and that this will mean an increase of 80,000 in the number of households.
The limited capacity of the urban area to meet the needs of the City’s growing population and large industrial sites represents exceptional circumstances which justify the release of land from the Green Belt for housing development.
There is only enough suitable and deliverable land available for housing development to deliver 51,100 dwellings, including 6,000 on the green belt East of Walmley in Sutton Coldfield.
The proposed housing target is only 61% of the minimum need as assessed in the SHMA and the council has warned it is not possible to deliver more than this within the city’s boundary. Some 33,000 houses are to be built in neighbouring authorities boundaries allocated via the GBSLEP’s sub regional Strategic Housing Study, due for publish early in 2014.
However, there are significant uncertainties over the likely sustainability implications of accommodating around 30,000 dwellings in surrounding authorities, given the absence of detail at this stage of where this portion of Birmingham housing need might go.
There are now concerns as to where the demand for the other 5,000 houses on the Sutton Coldfield green belt has gone? Reduced need, more cross-border support from neighbouring Local Authorities or more inner city sites viable again?
When the Birmingham Local Plan is placed in-front of the Planning Inspector, the developers will lobby en masse and say:
So it will be essential that all Sutton Coldfield residents who oppose building on the green belt let the Council know their individual comments during the 6 week consultation at the beginning of January 2014.
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