Hope for 'tsunami' of objections to meadow housing development after meeting

Campaigners looking to save an ancient meadow are hoping for a "tsunami" of objections to plans to build houses on the land.

The land on Corbett Meadow may be set to have a housing estate built on it and campaigners have asked residents to list objections to the plans
The land on Corbett Meadow may be set to have a housing estate built on it and campaigners have asked residents to list objections to the plans

The campaigners from the Save the Corbett Meadow Action Group (CMAG) are hoping that those people who attended a consultation meeting in Amblecote on Tuesday will put forward objections against plans to build a housing estate on the land.

The meeting comes after a plan was submitted by Charles Church Homes and The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust for 84 homes on Corbett Meadow, the last piece of undeveloped land in Amblecote.

The site, next to the Corbett Hospital on the outskirts of Stourbridge, looked to have been saved after it was not included in last year's draft version of the Black Country Plan.

But developers have now formally submitted proposals to Dudley Council for part of the site, which sits off Vicarage Road.

It has led to a number of complaints and objections being listed with Dudley Council by residents and organisers of the meeting on Tuesday night at Amblecote Holy Trinity Church made a call to action for other residents to make their own objections.

Led by CMAG spokesman Lance Cartwright and independent planning consultant Paul Watson, the meeting was a chance for residents to hear more about the plans for the site and how they could act.

Mr Watson gave a full presentation on the plans for the land, which would see 84 homes, including 25 per cent affordable homes, built, as well as landscaping, a play area and open spaces, sustainable drainage strategy and improved vehicle access.

His presentation spoke about the plotted history of the plan and also listed the objections by CMAG, which said the plans flew in the face of emerging council policy to designate the meadow as a local Green Space.

Other objections listed were how it would destroy the integrity of ecology, historic landscape and character of the meadow and how it ignored the potential to use the land as John Corbett had intended when he gifted the land to Stourbridge.

Following his presentation, there was a question and answer session, allowing those in attendance to ask about the plan and areas of concern for themselves.

It led to questions about the levels of pollution being caused by more traffic in the area, increased noise, a new school being built, the role of emergency services and whether there could be a delay put in place, to which Mr Watson replied any delay would be improper.

Other speakers during the question and answer session spoke about the rights of the land being stolen and how long it would take to list the land as a protected green space, with an expert in the meeting saying Autumn 2024.

The meeting culminated with the premiere of a new campaign video for saving Corbett Meadow and a call to action from Mr Cartwright, who said that the deadline for objections to be raised was Saturday, August 27.

He also detailed how people could raise objections, including through a carefully worded objection letter to Planning at Dudley Council or through the Council website, as well as asking people to sign an online petition and support the group.

Following the meeting, both Lance Cartwright and Paul Watson said they felt they had set out clearly to people what had been proposed and that they felt the meeting had gone well.

Mr Watson said: "I thought the questions were clear, lucid and obviously concerned for issues such as air quality, the historic integrity of the manor meadow and ecology, as well as the mundane issues such as traffic, congestion and safety issues.

"If the plans went ahead, I think a fundamental part of the areas heritage and the late vestige of the rural landscape would be lost, which I think would be a travesty.

"The essence of good planning is the right development in the right place at the right time and Corbett Meadow is the wrong development in the wrong place and there will never be a time when it is right to do it."

Mr Cartwright said: "I thought it was great the way the community came together and you saw them listening, being attentive and feeling very free to ask questions or put forward the thoughts they had.

"There were some excellent points raised, such as the effects of air pollution in an area where traffic is already heavily congested, and it was splendid for people to recognise the issues and look at what could come up.

"I hope there will be a tsunami of objections coming in now as people may have got the message and, hopefully, will go back home and get cracking on it and we'll see the 50 or so objections at least treble in the very near future."

The full planning application can be accessed at dudley.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display?paSearchKey=3198876 using reference P22/1050.

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