Bid for £200 million lodged to save green belt land from housing

A bid for £200 million in Government funding has been lodged in an effort to save hundreds of acres of green belt land from development.

Remediating brownfield land could preserve green sites such as Yieldsfield Farm, Bloxwich
Remediating brownfield land could preserve green sites such as Yieldsfield Farm, Bloxwich

The West Midlands Combined Authority wants ministers to hand over the cash to remediate brownfield sites across the region for thousands of homes.

The region's Mayor, Andy Street, told the Express & Star he was convinced that there were enough old industrial sites available to meet the regions target of 215,000 homes over the next decade.

He said the extra funding would help protect precious green belt sites, which could include many of those earmarked for housing in the controversial Black Country Plan.

The plan, which has met with a wave of opposition from residents, charities and politicians, would give over green belt sites for around 7,700 homes.

It comes after the West Midlands was last week awarded up to £33m from the Government's Brownfield Housing Fund, which came on top of £51m from the same fund last year.

Mr Street said he hoped the £200m bid would "top up" the amount of cash available for "absolutely crucial" brownfield remediation schemes.

The Mayor has commissioned an ongoing review into underused former industrial sites that is expected to report back before the end of the year.

He said: "The review will be taken into account by the four councils as they come forward with their plan. We believe that more can be done on brownfield, so that the take from the green belt can be less - if any.

"One of the key issues is, that despite all the sites we are working on at the moment, the assumption in the draft plan about what can be done on brownfield has gone up only by a tiny amount,

"To me that doesn't add up, and I am convinced that more can be done on brownfield."

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