Village fearful of ‘merger’ with Wolverhampton amid 600-home plans
Villagers have pledged to fight plans for almost 600 homes on their doorstep, declaring: “We don’t want to become part of Wolverhampton”.
People in Perton say development of green belt land between the village and Wolverhampton would have a devastating effect.
It is the latest community threatened by development suggested by South Staffordshire Council as part of a housing strategy to find up space for thousands of new homes.
In Perton, the village playing fields, a small field at Boundary Farm in nearby Wightwick, and land off the A41 Wergs Road could be developed.
Other variations of the proposals are being considered.
Villagers made their opposition clear at a meeting on Monday night called to discuss how the 587 new homes would impact the village.
It came as part of the Seven Cornfields site between Wolverhampton and Sedgley and green belt land along the A449 from Coven to Stafford are also being considered as part of the wider housing strategy.
South Staffordshire Council say green belt use would be “minimised”.
But chair of Perton Parish Council, Councillor Penny Allen, said there were concerns the development would effectively merge Perton with Wolverhampton’s Tettenhall.
She said: “We, as a parish council, have acknowledged that young people are finding it difficult to afford to rent and buy in the community – we understand that.
"But residents are very worried about building on green belt.”
'Protect the lungs of Perton'
One resident, Eddie Bolas who has lived in Perton since 1980, said: “When I first heard about these plans I honestly thought it was a joke.
"I see hundreds of people, children and dog walkers use this field every single day.
“These fields and green spaces are the lungs of Perton and it is vital we keep it this way and protect our village’s green belt.”
A number of people at a meeting held in the village expressed concerns over the effect the merge with Wolverhampton would have on their children’s education.
Simon Bates, who has two children, said: “We’re lucky at the moment because Codsall High School currently subsidises a minibus to take some children from the village to and from school, but if we merge with Wolverhampton we don’t know if that will continue.
"Without the bus we would have to take the children to school, because it is far too dangerous for them to walk there, so it would put a lot more pressure on our working lives.”
Perton Parish Council chair Councillor Penny Allen said the village didn’t have the “infrastructure” for the housing.
She added: “We live in a garden village with its own separate identity and residents have resoundingly rejected previous attempts to merge us into Wolverhampton.
"We don’t wish to be in the Wolverhampton area – many people have moved to get out of there."
South Staffordshire Council has identified the need for 8,845 new homes by 2037, admitting many will have to be built on green belt.