SOUTH Birmingham residents wanting to put a stop to plans to build on the former North Worcestershire Golf Course gave been warned ‘it’s now or never’ to get their voices heard.
The rallying cry comes from Coun Andy Cartwright after controversial plans were submitted by Bloor Homes to construct up to 1,000 homes, a public open space, primary school, multi-use community hub, new access points and associated infrastructure on the site.
The land sits between Frankley Beeches Road, Hanging Lane, Elan Road, Josiah Road and Tessall Lane.
But Coun Cartwright said it would have a massive impact on the whole of south west Birmingham and, as they were homes not included in the Birmingham Plan, they were simply not needed.
“Everybody needs to show Birmingham City Council that we are serious and we do not want this building here.
“Longbridge has had enough houses built on it.
“I realise there is a lot of demand for houses but this is not the way.”
He added if areas like Longbridge were overdeveloped, no one would want to buy any of the new homes as the traffic congestion would be worse, along with more anti-social behaviour and there would be added strain on services, such as local GP surgeries and schools.
“I have always said the time for residents to have their say is when the planning application went in – and that time is now.”
As well as urging residents to comment on the proposal, Coun Cartwright also urged residents to join him outside the former golf club at 6.30pm on June 15 (Wednesday) for a demonstration against the plans.
Northfield MP Richard Burden has also expressed concerns about the development, including whether the local infrastructure could cope and with regard to flooding.
“This is a large area of green land which is like a big sponge and has the ability to soak up large amounts of water when needed.”
He added taking that away could pose a flooding risk to the whole surrounding area.
“This is the not a case of ‘not in my back yard’ – if it was, I wouldn’t be speaking out about it like this.
“It is not that we don’t need extra housing because we do, but this is the wrong development in the wrong place.”
He echoed Coun Cartwright’s calls for residents to have their say on the proposals.
“People think it is complicated to go on the city council’s website and put their views across, but it’s not and I would urge everyone who has an opinion on it to make sure their voice is heard.”
Coun Cartwright said there were a number of developments that could have been planned for the site, such as a hotel or places for young people to go.
Duncan Mackay, land director at Bloor Homes, said: “The planning application for redevelopment of North Worcestershire Golf club was submitted following significant public consultation.
“This found there was a balance of views both for and against our proposals.
“Whilst the site was not allocated in the emerging Birmingham development plan, the only reason the Inspector did not include it was in the absence of detailed analysis of the impact of traffic from the development on the local road network or on local residents’ amenity.
“This work has now been completed and therefore there is no reason why the application could not be determined positively.”
He added Birmingham City Council had a significant housing need which it was unable to meet.
“This is a sustainable development site which would make a significant contribution to the delivery of new homes on a highly deliverable site, within the urban area with excellent access to schools, employment and local infrastructure taking pressure off the need to deliver on greenbelt land.”
Visit North Worcestershire Golf Club plans to see the application and click ‘Submit Comments Here’ to have your say.