RUBERY could get the village and high street it deserves – but only if it can show economic growth by building housing in the area – that is the view of Coun Peter McDonald.
He told The Standard this would not only help secure funding for regeneration but, with Birmingham planning to house thousands of people south of the border and the possible threat of encroachment looming, it would also be a chance for Rubery to keep some control of its area.
That way Rubery could build some much-needed affordable homes while protecting its green belt.
“It’s quite serious for us. Bromsgrove has been obsessed with keeping its green belt, but when it comes to housing, there is now only seven per cent we can call social rent or affordable, while 90 odd per cent is market housing – which means houses are very expensive.
“Working people can’t afford the prices we see around us in the area – so we’ve got to get back to the true meaning of affordable housing.”
At the last Rubery PACT meeting, Coun McDonald announced £74,000 had been earmarked in Bromsgrove District Council’s budget to carry out a feasability study into whether a plan should be worked up to regenerate New Road – a project estimated to cost £3.5million.
And Coun McDonald said, if the study deemed there to be sufficient local economic growth in Rubery, it would provide the perfect tool to use when it came to hunting for funding.
He said: “The fact BDC has already granted £74,000 to kick-start the project shows how serious they are about regenerating Rubery – so now we have to put a plan together and go for the millions we need to do this.
“If we don’t show economic growth for this regeneration of the high street, then we won’t get the funds – and if we don’t take into account housing in the area, Birmingham will cross the border and do it for us.”