Consultation launched on council's plan to concrete over much-loved golf course

Controversial plans to develop a much loved green space dubbed a "bastion against climate change" have gone out to consultation.

Sandwell Council wants to build homes on the old Brandhall Golf Course in Oldbury
Sandwell Council wants to build homes on the old Brandhall Golf Course in Oldbury

Sandwell Council wants to build more than 500 homes, a school and a park on the old Brandhall Golf Course in Oldbury, which closed in May 2020.

The proposals, which form part of the Brandhall Village masterplan, have sparked a campaign to save the 37-hectare site which included a protest outside Sandwell Council House last month.

The authority insists that despite having a 'brownfield first' policy, it is unable to meet its Government-led housing need outlined in the Black Country Plan without building on green field sites.

It has has launched a public consultation on four potential options for redevelopment, which bosses say will see 8.5 hectares of open space kept for residents and new areas for wildlife.

Councillor Iqbal Padda, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “We invite the local community to influence key aspects of the Brandhall Village masterplan.

"We are at the early stages of developing the masterplan and the purpose of this consultation is to share our ambitions, draft vision and masterplan options and to hear local residents and workers’ views.

"This is an opportunity for residents and workers to shape how Brandhall Village could look, to set a clear vision for the site, and the kinds of open space and any facilities provided within it."

Campaigners protested against the development at Sandwell Council House last month

Brandhall Green Space Action Group, made up of residents from Old Warley, Langley, and Bristnall, is campaigning to save the site, arguing that development will kill of wildlife and destroy the area's only green space.

Councillor Jay Anandou, Conservative councillor for Old Warley, has urged the Labour-run authority to pause its "headlong rush towards developing every available parcel of land in Sandwell".

He said Brandhall was a "bastion against climate change, pollution and flooding" and preserving it would "have an immense positive impact on the health of local residents".

In a letter to the council, he wrote: "In deciding on the fate of Brandhall Green Space your choice is simple. Preserve a priceless asset for current and future generations, or destroy something irreplaceable for a temporary policy fix.

"If you continue with your plans, one day, every square centimetre of the ward in which we live will be covered in concrete and brick. What happens then?"

The plans are based on a previous consultation on the future of the site, held in 2019, which saw the vast majority of respondents prefer an option with a large amount of open space.

To access details of the plans and take part in the consultation visit sandwell.gov.uk/brandhall. The plans will be available to view at Brandhall Library on Tame Road until the consultation closes on November 28.

Meanwhile the project team will be on hand to answer questions at face-to-face drop-in sessions at the library on November 16.

They run from 12pm to 3.30pm and 4.30pm to 8pm.

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