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MP calls for council to scrap housing plan at Bilston playing field

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden has urged the city council to 'go back to the drawing board' and scrap controversial plans to build a housing development on playing fields in Bilston.

The Wolverhampton South East MP has come out in support of campaigners who are against the proposal to put 40 homes on the middle field next to the town's former leisure centre, which has also been earmarked for housing.

He said the land off Prouds Lane had always been intended for the recreational use of young people in Bilston and insisted there were far more suitable sites in the city for new housing.

A report on the plans will go before the authority's executive committee on January 10, advising them to agree to the development.

Mr McFadden said: "In recent weeks I have been approached by a number of constituents who are very concerned about proposals to build new housing on part of the Bilston playing fields off Prouds Lane.

"I also attended a public meeting on this issue a few weeks ago.

"I know that our city needs more housing and I want to see more housing built, both in Bilston and in other parts of the city.

"But I believe building over a playing field like this would be the wrong thing to do.

"These amenities are important for the health and wellbeing of people. The truth is we need more sport and leisure facilities, not less.

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"There is a clear understanding locally that this land was always meant to be used for sport and recreation for the young people of Bilston. That makes this a special case.

"I think the council needs to go back to the drawing board on this proposal. They should listen to the clearly expressed views of local people.

"There are many former industrial sites and abandoned buildings in Bilston and Wolverhampton which I believe would be better suited as locations for the new housing that our city needs."

Mr McFadden added that he was investigating claims that the land had been bequeathed to the youth of Bilston and, as a result, could not be built on.

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The plans were originally unveiled at a heated meeting last month.

Furious residents have accused council officials of trying to force the development through without proper consultation, after only 100 letters were sent out detailing the plans.

Councillor Phil Page, who represents Bilston North, has called for urgent action to block the proposals, while a petition is set to be launched in the coming days.

A residents meeting is set to take place tonight (January 2nd) at 6pm at the 1st Bilston Scout Hut on Prouds Lane.

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