Campaigners rally support against housing estate plans at nature reserve

Campaigners and concerned residents rallied at church hall in a bid to save a much-loved Black Country nature reserve from becoming a building site.

Lesley Dunn at Saltwells Nature Reserve, Dudley, with other campaigners working to stop the housing development happening
Lesley Dunn at Saltwells Nature Reserve, Dudley, with other campaigners working to stop the housing development happening

Members of the Save Our Saltwells group delivered a public question and answer session at the Primrose Hill Community Church, in Netherton, in efforts to gain further support.

The group are opposing Birmingham-based applicant KB Extruders' bid to build nine houses on Saltwells Nature Reserve and the former site of the old manor house – which was demolished in 2010.

Campaigner, Lesley Dunn, said: "The public meeting was fabulous.

"There was a good number of people and we did a question and answer session where a lot of good information was shared.

"The passion of the people supporting the campaign was very apparent. We are not angry people.

Saltwells House in Saltwells Nature Reserve near Brierley Hill

"Everyone in that room was passionate and determined to save the wood and nature reserve.

"The next push is to get good numbers of good quality objections going into the council."

Plans would see a total of nine four and five-bedroom homes built on the site while concrete would also be put down over the open land in the form of a car park.

The public meeting comes as more than 8,000 people have now signed an online petition set up to oppose the plans.

West Midlands Police and Dudley councillor Chris Barnett are amongst those to have also shown opposition to the plans.

In a letter to Dudley Council's planning committee, Officer Manson, of the Force Reduction Unit, said the site's isolation would leave it 'prone to burglaries'.

Officer Manson added: "From integrating the Officer National Statistics these nine houses are not in character with the local area.

"If these nine houses are built this will be a crime generator which will attract unwanted attention and will see more calls of service to the police for this area.

"If this was in another area and better sited I would have no issues."

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