Sutton Coldfield protest walk against green belt homes plan and large scale industrial zone
3rd January 2014
Residents campaign against housing plan for farmland near Walmley and Minworth.
Sutton Coldfield residents braved the winter weather to stage a protest walk around green belt land under threat from a proposed new housing development.
The campaigners are opposed to plans to earmark farmland near Walmley for up to 6,000 new homes and a major industrial development.
They staged the walk to mark the start of consultation on the Birmingham Development Plan which contains the proposals for building on green belt.
The protesters circled the proposed housing site along Webster Way, Thimble End and Springfield Road before going onto the fields.
Organiser Suzanne Webb, of the Project Fields blog, said: “There is a housing shortage and we are not opposed to new housing.
"But building on the green belt should be the last option.
“We believe the development plan is flawed and needs to be looked at."
She said the walk had been chosen to show that it was not a small housing development but a plan which would “change the nature of Sutton Coldfield and impact all our futures”.
The walk was launched by Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell who told the protesters he would be meeting senior council planning officers to discuss the concerns.
He said: “We do need new homes and we know there is a housing shortage, but they have got to be built in the right place. Not the green belt.”
Mr Mitchell also paid tribute to former councillor Dennis Birbeck who, at the age of 90, attended the protest and is a veteran of a successful campaign against green belt development at Peddimore during the late 1990s.
The Birmingham City Council has been told it needs to find space for 80,000 new homes, as well as job creating industrial land, in the city by 2031 to meet growing demand.
But planners have found space for just 43,000 within the existing urban area, putting the green belt at risk.
They have also asked neighbouring areas, where housing land is available, to meet some of that demand.
The council has argued that the plan would be rejected by Government if they had not considered green belt land to meet housing demand.
The consultation period
The consultation will last for eight weeks from 6th January until 12 noon on 3rd March, 2014.
Submitting your comments
Comments may be submitted:
A comment form can be downloaded by clicking here if you wish to use this option.
By Post to:
Director of Planning and Regeneration, Development and Culture Directorate
Birmingham City Council
PO Box 28
Useful Read: Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Completing Comments Form - Part B Comments on soundness
Council officers will be at Sutton Library on January 16 and 23, and February 8, from 10am to 4pm to provide advice and assistance.
They will also be visiting Walmley Library on January 22 from 10am to 12.30pm and February 15, from 10am to 1pm.
Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Completing Comments Form - Part B Comments on soundness
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