Green belt consultation in Sutton Coldfield deadline looms with last chance for people to object
1st March 2014
Sutton Coldfield Observer
HUNDREDS of Sutton residents packed the third and final public meeting over plans which could see up to 6,000 new homes built on the town's green belt land.
Crowds filled St John's Church in Walmley last Friday evening (February 21) to hear what local councillors and Sutton's MP Andrew Mitchell had to say on the controversial plans.
Campaigner Ken Wood, who will stand as Conservative candidate for Sutton New Hall Ward in the May elections, said: ''It was excellent to see so many people turn out.
"We have held three public meetings across the constituency, with record-breaking numbers attending, to encourage people to object to these proposals."
Last Friday's meeting came just days after local campaign groups fighting proposals to build on land west of the A38 Sutton Coldfield Bypass near Walmley and Falcon Lodge warned local residents "don't sit on your hands" and to have their say before the consultation period ends on Monday (March 3).
Members also spoke of their fears that local residents do not fully appreciate the gravity of the development if it is approved.
But the campaigner said a 'huge effort' had been made to lobby the Labour-run Birmingham City Council scheme.
''There has been a huge effort from local Conservatives across Sutton and residents' groups to deliver leaflets, organise meetings and highlight the issue," he said.
"But now is not the time to reflect or give credit to the work that has gone in – now is the time to sit down and register your objection. If you think this issue won't affect you because it is not on your doorstep then think again. This will cause traffic chaos with potentially an extra 10,000 cars hitting our already-congested roads.
"It will increase waiting times at Good Hope, put pressure on school places and change the town forever. It is not sound because it relies on neighbouring local authorities building homes and we have had no agreement from them on this.
"It is not justified because it fails to take into account the reduced immigration figures or the number of empty houses in Birmingham – not to mention the number of brownfield sites available.
"It is a plan that is neither sound nor justified," he added. "The important thing is that people make their voices heard and get their objections registered before the deadline."
The proposals are part of the Birmingham Development Plan, which sets out a strategy for sustainable growth across the city for the next 18 years. It is thought 80,000 new homes will need to be provided by 2031 to cope with the city's growing population. Originally, plans for 10,000 homes to be built on Sutton's green belt were mooted, which were slashed to around half last year.
If approved, a major industrial development, on a similar scale to the Jaguar Land Rover site, is also being earmarked for green belt land at nearby Peddimore.
Submitting your comments
Comments may be submitted:
The consultation period
The consultation will last for eight weeks from 6th January until 12 noon on 3rd March, 2014.
By Post to:
Director of Planning and Regeneration, Development and Culture Directorate
Birmingham City Council
PO Box 28
Anyone who needs help registering their objection can call 0121 354 2229 or email email@example.com
Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Comments Form - Part C: Comments on the duty to co-operate and legal compliance
Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Completing Comments Form - Part B Comments on soundness
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