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15,000 homes could be built on Balsall common

AROUND 15,000 homes could be built on Balsall Common's doorstep as part of plans to boost the number of houses in the West Midlands.

AROUND 15,000 homes could be built on Balsall Common's doorstep as part of plans to boost the number of houses in the West Midlands.

The Government has hired Nathaniel Lichfield, a planning consultants, to look at ways that more homes could be created in the local area. A mini-town in the Meriden gap is one of nine options being considered.

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, has warned that a whole new settlement would effectively join Birmingham and Coventry together.

"It is a narrow space and if you put 15,000 homes on it you are likely to end up concreting all the way between the two cities.

"Whilst I understand we need more homes, I feel very strongly that we have to develop in gaps on brownfield sites."

Mrs Spelman suggested that old industrial areas and redundant city space would be better sites to develop.

In Balsall Common itself, there are fears that the area's leafy character could be destroyed forever.

Peter Shimmell, a resident of 35 years, said that the shear number of homes would have a major impact on the community.

"For the people who live here, the green belt between Birmingham and Coventry, that whole area, is sacred.

"The reason a lot of residents move here is because you only have to walk a few minutes and you can be out among the fields -it's really lovely.

"If they build in the gap then there will be a complete connurbation between Wolverhampton and Nuneaton - it will be a nightmare.

The West Midlands Regional Assembly is aiming to build over 350,000 homes across the West Midlands before 2026.

Liam Byrne, minister for the West Midlands, has previously highlighted new housing as one of his priorities.

Nathaniel Lichfield are continuing to explore the different options and will produce their final report in October.

 

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