Plans to build 6,000 green belt homes goes under the scrutiny of the Secretary of the State
24th June 2014
Birmingham City Council will formally submit the development plan to the Secretary of State (SoS) next week, once a number of minor amendments based on feedback made during the consultation have been approved by Councillor Tahir Ali.
The draft local plan includes controversial proposals to release two areas of green belt land in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield. The land grab will enable the construction of up to 6,000 houses in what the Council have branded, Langley Sustainable Urban Extension. It also hopes to build an employment site at Peddimore the size of Jaguar Land Rover in Castle Bromwich.
However, during the consultation developers submitted comments to Birmingham City Council promoting the release of further green belt land so that they could build up to 12,000 new homes during the lifetime of the local plan, a strategy the Council is not looking to take forward.
In an attempt to address some of the arguments made by developers that additional housing can be delivered over and above what is being proposed, the Council has been busy updating its evidence base in-terms of a transport strategy, housing delivery and waste capacity.
The infrastructure delivery plan and duty to cooperate report have also been revised.
When asked about work carried out by the Council to defend its decision not to release further green belt for housing, Development Planning Manager at Birmingham City Council, Ian MacCloed said “The reason not to release further areas of green belt was based on a number of reasons, firstly the landscape quality, ecological issues and infrastructure issues.
The report compiled by the Council challenges the assumptions by Savilles that 12,000 properties can be delivered over the plan period to 2031 and we believe those assumptions are unrealistic and have commissioned further work to demonstrate that is the case.
The evidence will be submitted along with the development plan and this will be one of several arguments the Council will be running at the examination resisting any further releases in Sutton Coldfield.”
Over 6,000 comments from over 1,500 people were submitted against the individual policies, during the draft submission version consultation which ended in January 2014.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority received related to the green belt proposals at Langley and Peddimore, with a large proportion of residents objecting to the development.
Members of the public who took part in the consultation, will receive an update informing that the local plan has been submitted to the SoS.
The most likely date for the enquiry, which is expected to last a month, will be held in October 2014 at a location in central Birmingham.
The Council anticipate receiving the inspectors’ findings, early in the New Year and hope to adopt the plan at some point during 2015.
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