Concerns over possible greenbelt homes plan on edge of Wolverhampton
Residents in Wolverhampton have expressed concerns over possible plans to build 2,500 new properties on greenbelt land that borders their homes.
Former farmland that stretches between Linthouse Lane and Kitchen Lane in Wednesfield has been earmarked by planners at neighbouring South Staffordshire County Council as a potential site for a new housing development.
However, a public consultation on the proposals is yet to begin.
The land is popular with both ramblers and dog walkers and provides "breathing space" between Wednesfield and Essington just over the border in South Staffordshire.
Councillor Phil Bateman, who represents Wednesfield North on Wolverhampton Council, said this week: “The land in question is much-loved by local people, but it lies in South Staffordshire and not in the city of Wolverhampton.
"However, it is the intention of all the Wednesfield North councillors to keep residents informed of any news.
“In April last year South Staffordshire District Council were still finalising work on their current Site Allocations document but then they switched and began working on the review of their Local Plan.
“This document sets out the strategic growth options for South Staffordshire and considers what levels of growth can be accommodated.
"They told me that they were updating their Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, which will contain all the sites suggested to them – including Linthouse Lane – and this will be the starting point for site options.”
Along with Councillor Bateman, fellow Wednesfield North representatives Mary Bateman and Rita Potter have asked that their contact details be added to South Staffordshire District Council’s Local Plan database, in order to receive automatic updates on local planning matters.
“Any residents in Wednesfield who wish to be added to the database can do so by sending their email address to firstname.lastname@example.org” added Councillor Bateman.
“We are now waiting for the next stage in the work, which is based on South Staffs ‘Preferred Options Consultation’ which is due to be ready by March/April 2020.
“Most importantly, the consultation has yet to start. So if anyone has concerns or wants to have their say on the proposals they should email email@example.com directly. I would ask residents not to contact me as the issue lies with South Staffs planners.
“In the meantime, until we see what is being proposed it’s important that we don’t start shouting and demanding things until we know what is down in black and white,” he said.
“Residents should know that in every forum that deals with strategic planning in Wolverhampton, we have continued to ensure that officials know how strong feelings in Wednesfield are in relation to this much-loved area of greenbelt.”
The Government has set a national housing target of 300,000 new homes per year by 2026 and has outlined where their priority locations are.
Councillor Bateman added: “The City Council currently owns around 22,000 homes through its Wolverhampton Homes company and the target for new dwellings in Wolverhampton is set at 13,400 homes or 640 homes each year.
“The Black Country Strategy aims to provide a minimum of 550 new affordable homes each year.
"Much of Wolverhampton’s commitment for new homes will be based in three action areas – the Bilston corridor, Stafford Road and the city centre.
“There are smaller sites that are being developed in Wednesfield – the newly announced Marches site in Lakefield Road, which will have 246 dwellings, and the 52-home Danesmore site in Ashmore Park which has almost been completed.”