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600+ sign green belt development petition

More than 660 people have signed a petition amid fears green belt off Clent View Road in Stourbridge could be given over for a new housing development.

Green Party campaigner Mark Binnersley has started the petition to send a message to Dudley and South Staffordshire councils, developers and landowners that residents in Norton “will not tolerate development of the local green belt” amid news that Taylor Wimpey has proposed up to 400 new homes could be built on agricultural land next to Clent View Road to address Dudley’s and South Staffordshire’s housing needs.

Mr Binnersley said any plan to develop the fields would “have an unacceptable negative impact upon the local area in terms of traffic, pressure on schools, health services and nature” and he is urging Dudley and South Staffordshire councils to discount the area of land from any future housing schemes.

He said: “The idea of building on the green belt on the western edge of the Black Country, particularly in Norton, is ill-thought through and would be a disaster for the local community.”

He believes local authorities should “focus instead on the ample brownfield sites within Dudley and South Staffordshire boroughs with provision for affordable, low carbon properties for young families and the homeless” and he is calling for a “community-led rather than property-developer driven” approach to meeting housing needs.

South Staffordshire Council has stressed that no sites have yet been selected for development but the local authority, which needs to build 8,845 houses by 2037, is currently consulting on the second stage of its Local Plan which looks at broad locations for future housing growth and land close to the western border of the Black Country appears favourite for potential development.

A spokesman for the council said: “This consultation is not site specific; sites will come later in the process and we will consult on sites through our Preferred Options in summer 2020.”

Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, added: “As part of the duty to co-operate, Dudley and its Black Country partners meet regularly with South Staffordshire to discuss their local plan review and will be fully consulted at each stage of the plan process through to full adoption. The emerging plan will also be subject to extensive public consultation.”

Residents in Gornal have also started a similar campaign amid fears that hundreds of homes could be built on green belt land around the Straits and Himley Road areas.

A Save North of Himley Road Green Belt group has been set up on Facebook and a public meeting was held on Monday.


Article originally appeared on Dudley News

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