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Battle looms over borough plan for 4,000 new homes

A REVOLT over Solihull Council’s plans to build around 4,000 new homes in the borough continues to spread.

A REVOLT over Solihull Council’s plans to build around 4,000 new homes in the borough continues to spread.

Residents in Balsall Common have joined the growing number of communities who have vowed to fight proposals for new housing.

Action group BARRAGE (Balsall Against Rural Ruin And Greenbelt Erosion) opposes the development of greenbelt between Kelsey Lane, Kenilworth Road and Windmill Lane.

Hundreds of homes could be built on the wedge of countryside - locals claim the estate will be three times the size of the existing Riddings Hill.

This latest call-to-arms follows angry responses from residents’ groups in the likes of Knowle, Marston Green, Shirley and Kingshurst.

Peter Wyhinny, from BARRAGE, said the community feared that releasing the land would open the floodgates and pile extra pressure on village roads.

“Our argument is that there are far more suitable sites and the council must have a consistent approach.

“These homes would just be plonked on the outskirts of the village, far removed from all the amenities. There’s also the question of traffic.”

Increasingly both communities to the north and south of the A45 feel they’re in the firing line.

Coun David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) said people in his ward were “incandescent” about what they see as over-development.

The villages in the Meriden Gap, meanwhile, argue that their infrastructure is not equipped to deal with a further increase in population.

But at this month’s full council meeting, borough councillors reiterated the urgent need for more homes - particularly affordable dwellings.

“We have to be realistic about this,” Coun Ian Courts, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, told fellow members.

“We can’t just carry on as we are.”

* You can contact BARRAGE by emailing bcbarrage@hotmail.co.uk

 

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