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Anger over 10,000 homes vision along A449

By Jamie Brassington | South Staffordshire | Property | Published:

Up to 10,000 homes could be built alongside the A449 on the outskirts of Wolverhampton, residents have been warned.

The packed meeting

Campaigners have urged people to keep an eye on planning applications being made to South Staffordshire Council as it battles to meet housing needs.

Councillor Warren Fisher, an independent, says South Staffordshire Council is looking to build more homes around Essington and along the A449 from Coven to Stafford.

A leaflet handed out

He told a meeting of more than 100 people at Essington Community Centre, organised by Essington Action Group: “They are looking to build a new settlement, a size of approximately 10,000 dwellings along the A449.”

Councillor Fisher said the plans could stretch over years.

The meeting was called to advise residents on current plans by developers to build 2,500 homes on green belt between Essington and Wednesfield.

A map of south Staffordshire handed out at the meeting

The area of land earmarked is situated between Kitchen Lane, Linthouse Lane and Blackhalve Lane.

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Julie Cornfield, aged 55, from Essington, said: “With lack of green belt between both places, Staffordshire will just merge with the conurbation of the West Midlands.”

Simon Brodie, 49, from Wednesfield, who set up a petition against the proposals which has gained more than 1,700 signatures, said: “It is heartbreaking.”

"Wednesfield has these views of the countryside now but it hasn't got a lot of greenery."

Further meetings are planned in the future.

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Response

In response to the proposed 2,500 homes development, a spokesman for South Staffs Council said: “At the moment, we are consulting on a strategy looking at broad locations for housing growth in the district and we are encouraging residents to take part in it and let us know their views.

"We will take on board all the comments received to the consultation and following this we will prepare a preferred options document.

"This will contain the options we have selected, sites to deliver the options and policies to guide development, together with our reasons.

"There will be a further period of public consultation on the preferred approach, which we hope will be in summer 2020.”

And addressing claims the council is looking to build 10,000 homes in the future, the spokesman added: “Members asked the local plans team to explore whether a new standalone settlement might be a good option for new homes in the local plan review.

"We have investigated options for this, but at this time, there are no new settlement options available which would provide all the necessary infrastructure, or evidence to show a self-contained new settlement could be delivered in this plan period.

"However, we have included an ‘area of search’ in the consultation documents to keep the door open for future local plans which cover the period after 2037.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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