Bromsgrove Standard – read past the first para
BROMSGROVE Council leader, Coun Roger Hollingworth, has rubbished claims that the district would have to find space for 34,000 homes from Birmingham, because of the Localism Act’s duty to cooperate.
They were made by Coun Peter McDonald who said he had been given the information by one of the authority’s officers during a presentation on the town centre as part of an LDF (Local Development Framework) meeting at Bromsgrove Council House.
He said: “We could well see the boundary of Birmingham City extending to the M42 Island.
“Even if Bromsgrove agree to half the amount, it will see villages such as Rubery, Catshill and Marlbrook swallowed up by Birmingham.
“While Bromsgrove District has been refusing to release greenbelt land for much need housing for Bromsgove residents, it has been having secret talks to hand over acres of greenbelt land for Birmingham’s housing needs.”
He demanded Bromsgrove District Council made clear what was going on with regard to development from other areas.
But Coun Hollingworth said the Rubery councillor’s claims were well wide of the mark.
He told The Standard that with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, working with all the councils in the LEP area, more than 100,000 jobs were being created in the new Enterprise Zone.
And, because of that, 80,000 homes are needed in and around the Second City, with Birmingham only being able to find room for around 45,000.
And, whilst he admitted the other 35,000 would have to be built outside of Birmingham, that number would be shared by several areas as well as Bromsgrove, including Lichfield, Stratford and the Black Country.
“Before any of that happens, we will be carrying out a complete greenbelt review,” said Coun Hollingworth.
“Then, we will all sit down as a group of councils and we will look at what we can take home-wise.
“There will be no building in the greenbelt unless it is in very special circumstances.”
He said a lot of people in Bromsgrove were employed in Birmingham, which worked well, and, with the arrival of the new station, the transport links between the town and the Second City would be even better for commuters.
But, he added, as well as houses for commuters, there would still be job opportunities created locally.
They would include small business start-ups and opportunities on the Bromsgrove Technology Park and on other employment land, such as at Perryfields and in Stoke Prior