MP calls to save green belt

The battle to save the green belt ‘lungs of the West Midlands’ could be taken to Downing Street as a prime minister hopeful is urged to rethink the controversial Black Country Plan.

Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton and Councillor Tim Wilson at a Green Belt site on Chester Road
Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton and Councillor Tim Wilson at a Green Belt site on Chester Road

Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton reiterated calls for brownfield sites to be considered first for thousands of planned new homes to avoid the loss of acres of green space in the area.

And she added she will continue to press Liz Truss, who she is backing in the Tory Party leadership race, on the issue.

The Black Country Plan states that 76,000 new homes and 560 hectares of land for jobs needs to be found in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton by 2039.

In Walsall, it is proposed enough land is needed to build an extra 13,344 new houses – 5,418 of which are on Green Belt – and 164 hectares for employment use.

In phase one of the plan, a number of sites were consulted on but it was then announced three additional sites in Walsall were being put forward and are currently being consulted on.

These include two on Chester Road which fall into the Aldridge and Streetly areas and will see more than 1,000 homes built if the go-ahead is given.

Mrs Morton said her constituency was being hit with the majority of Walsall’s suggested need and urged residents to have their say.

She said: “I have to say I’m really disappointed and shocked by these further sites coming forward.

“I think it is time for a re-think. They need to really look at housing number.

“We do need homes for young people and families but we need to be looking at the alternatives and focus on brownfield first which is what I’ve been saying from the very beginning.

“There are loads of brownfield sites around here and there are really good examples in Walsall where we’ve got good developments.

“If you get your brownfield development right, you’re revitalising and re-energising communities and you save what I would say is the lungs if not the heart of the West Midlands.

“I would urge residents to get in touch and come on board with us to make their feelings shortly.”

She added: “I will continue to make the case to Liz Truss and she has been really clear she has big concerns about these housing targets and it’s the wrong way to go.”

Aldridge Central and South councillor Tim Wilson said also he spoke to Liz Truss, who was in the village last weekend as part of her campaign for leadership against Rishi Sunak, about the issue.

He said: “I mentioned protecting the Green Belt and she was in favour of that and in favour of local decisions being made by local people and authorities. She clearly wasn’t in favour of building on the Green Belt.

“I’ll always campaign against any development on it. As we’ve always said, once it’s gone it is gone.

“I don’t think the infrastructure has been taken into account. We don’t have the doctors, we don’t have the schools, we don’t any of the infrastructure needed to accommodate these houses.

“The justification for the number of houses we need hasn’t been made yet, despite the question being asked.

“No-one has been able to give any justification of how they’ve worked out how many houses we need and how we’ve got the higher proportion.”

A drop in session for people to get more information will be held at Streetly Sports and Community Association, Foley Road East (B74 3HR) on Friday, August 19 from 1.30pm to 6.30pm.

People have to submit comments about the additional sites by 5pm on Monday, September 5. These should be sent to or

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