Fight against Halesowen greenbelt land becoming housing estate
A proposal to turn Halesowen farmland on either side of the River Stour into a housing estate has been roundly rejected by a local councillor.
Councillor Ruth Buttery, for Hayley Green and Cradley South Ward, says she is totally opposed to a scheme that would strip land south of Manor Way to Hunnington of its greenbelt protection.
Her comments came after the publication of over 300 potential commercial and housing projects on sites across the Black Country.
The list has been drawn up as part of a proposed Black Country Core Strategy – a plan jointly developed between Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils – after landowners and developers were asked to submit potential locations.
Controversially, it includes thousands of acres of greenbelt land that has traditionally enjoyed protected status.
Speaking about a proposal to designate the 70 hectares of rural land in her ward as suitable for housing, she said: “Our policy is not to build on the greenbelt and all of Halesowen Conservative councillors and the local MP, James Morris, would resist any plans to do so.
“Anybody can put put in applications to build on the greenbelt but they are not going to be passed.
“For developers it’s easier to build for rural land rather than clean up another site and they can put in as many applications as they want but they still have to get planning permission from the council.”
Her comments come only a few weeks after a public meeting heard of a proposal to develop 1,500 home on Foxcote Farm in Wollescote.
Privately many councillors are angry the Black Country Core Strategy allowed landowners and developers to submit rural land as potential sites.
Both Labour and Conservative council members have said they will urge the local authority to prevent agricultural and open spaces being designated as suitable for development.