Protest over 'absolutely appalling' plan to build green belt homes in Stourbridge

A weekend protest took place in Stourbridge against the proposed development of green space which has been slammed as “absolutely appalling”.

Stourbridge residents campaigning against green belt development
Stourbridge residents campaigning against green belt development

On September 25, residents campaigned outside Wollaston Farm and Worcester Lane, both in Stourbridge.

The green spaces are included in the Black Country Plan, currently in its first consultation.

Stourbridge Conservatives have invited residents to Dudley Town Hall on Thursday evening to provide feedback on the Black Country Plan.

They hope this, along with a petition recently created, will be enough to make the strongest case possible to protect the green belt.

Under the plan, more than 7,000 houses will go on green belt land as part of a battle to hit what councils across the Black Country say is an unrealistic target of 76,000 homes by 2039.

The consultation has only 19 days left, with residents and Tory MPs concerned against losing precious green spaces. Residents across the region have formed campaign groups in a bid to protect local green belt sites.

Councillor James Clinton said he stands firm against the proposed development in Worcester Lane.

“The Stourbridge greenbelt is vital for our communities and precious for future generations,” he said. “I am committed to protecting this area against development. Building 115 homes here would be untenable and would disrupt the local infrastructure.

“Our schools and GP surgeries would not be able to cope with this increase in residents, not to mention to already strained parking situation around local shops. The area in Worcester Lane is regularly enjoyed by residents getting out into the countryside.”

He added: “We know now more than ever of the importance of local green space, especially for mental health and wellbeing.”

Councillor Nicolas Barlow has spoken out against the proposed development on a green field site in Wollaston.

He said: “The thought that 90 properties could be built on grazing land at the rear of the Kingsway on Wollaston Farm is absolutely appalling. This is one of the few green spaces we have in this area and I find it shocking that it was added to the draft Black Country Plan.

“It is used by a considerable number of residents around Wollaston and contains many examples of wildlife that we must preserve. Our local education and health services are are stretched to capacity, and roads in the vicinity are already busy without the addition of more cars.

“I remain utterly opposed to any development on greenbelt or greenfield sites. I am of the opinion that we have sufficient brownfield, derelict and under-developed sites across the borough.

“I urge residents to please register for the consultation to ensure their voices are heard. The more valid objections that are submitted then we stand a chance that this site remains safe for future generations.”

Suzanne Webb, MP for Stourbridge, said: “I stand with residents who do not want Worcester Lane or the Grazing Land at Wollaston Farm incorporated into the Black Country local plan.

“The strength of feeling was obvious from the big turn out and the message was loud and clear: we do not want to see housing here.

“This is my policy – no green belt development until all brownfield options are exhausted. This is what my response to the local plan consultation will say and I urge everyone to engage with it and make their views known.”

To take part in the consultation visit blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk or visit Dudley Council reception for paper copies.

Residents can visit Dudley Town Hall, St James’s Road, on September 30 to voice their concerns from 7pm.

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