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Affordable Housing

Major plans for 1,500 homes earmarked for greenbelt land

Plans to build 1,500 homes on greenbelt land in a scheme worth £218.5 million are in the pipeline – with some vowing to fight it tooth and nail.

An artist’s impression of how the proposed housing development will look. Picture: BHB Architects
The sprawling development has been earmarked for agricultural fields separating Pheasey and Streetly.

The development would be called Columba Park and forms part of wider plans to address housing shortages in the West Midlands.

But Pheasey Park Farm ward councillor and Walsall Council leader Mike Bird believes the development won’t go ahead – as it is a “developer trying to take their chance”.

Developers have been invited by Black Country councils to put forward sites which can be considered for new housing developments, to tackle housing shortages in the region.

Councillor Bird said: “We are being told that there’s not enough room – or brownfield sites – for homes in Birmingham and Sandwell so they are being pushed out to other areas.

“There are a number of sites being promoted by developers who are trying to take their chance.

“If a planning application was to go ahead, a decision wouldn’t be made until 2022. The final decision will rest with the cabinet.”

He added: “It is a green belt site, a developer is chancing their arm. We will defend these sites against any unnecessary housing on greenbelt land.”

The proposed development is located on fields off Queslett Road and Aldridge Road.

It follows a review by the Black Country Core Strategy.

This said 22,000 homes are needed in the Black Country by 2036 due to a growing population.

Since then developers have been invited to come up with locations for new housing developments,

Council bosses would rather build on brownfield sites however greenbelt land could still be considered. Each proposal would need to be decided on by the relevant council.

A planning document for Columba Park said: “The Black Country’s need for new homes cannot be met on land within the urban area alone and the growth should therefore be met in the most sustainable and deliverable locations such as at Columba Park.

“Columba Park presents a unique opportunity to combine meeting housing needs with the delivery of a well-planned, landscape-led proposal.”

Source: By Jamie Brassington

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