'A gorgeous view to a sea of brick': Campaigners in last-ditch plea to save the green belt

Campaigners are making a last-ditch plea to save the green belt as a consultation into controversial housing plans draws to a close.

The Black Country Plan could lead to thousands of homes being built on the green belt
The Black Country Plan could lead to thousands of homes being built on the green belt

The Black Country Plan could see thousands of acres of green belt land given over for homes

A public consultation into the plan – which has been met with a wave of opposition across the region – is due to end on Monday.

Sites under threat include The Triangle near Wall Heath, Doe Bank Lane in Walsall, the Grapes Pool field in Bilston and Brandhall golf course in Oldbury. In total, six per cent of the region’s green belt land is up for grabs.

Joanne James, who is campaigning against the proposed Calderfields development in Walsall, said: “They are going to turn a gorgeous view into a sea of brick.”

Residents have also hit out at the consultation process, branding it inaccessible and confusing.

Council leaders have urged ministers to reduce the region’s housing target of more than 76,000 homes over the next two decades, while calls have also been made for a focus on brownfield sites.

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden, said: “There are many former industrial sites available and these are the places where new houses should be built.

“Building houses on such sites would have strong public support but would be a more expensive option for developers. Green space is ready to go, but just because something is an easy option it doesn’t mean it is the right option.”

Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz said she was alarmed at the number of homes proposed for the green belt and said it was “essential” such sites were protected.

Sources have told the Express & Star that it is highly unlikely that current housing targets will be reduced by new Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

A review launched by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street into old industrial sites across the region that have the potential for development is currently ongoing.

However, it is not due to report back until the end of the the year – months after the consultation on the plan ends.

The plan is set to go through several stages before it is signed off by ministers and adopted in April 2024.

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