A CONSERVATIONIST has said he is “adamantly opposed” to the Meriden Gap being built on to help meet the government’s target for new housing.
The government says 17,000 more homes are needed in Solihull by 2026, more than double the number of 7,600 put forward by the West Midlands Regional Assembly.
Peter Langley, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, told a public inquiry into West Midlands development plans: “It seems that looking around Solihull, there is a particularly high quality of environment.
“It follows that it therefore requires a very sensitive balance between development and conservation.
“Although we broadly acccept the 7,600 figure, we would be adamantly opposed to an entirely new settlement in the Meriden Gap.
“It would knock a large hole in the green belt and if you had a new settlement it would send out the message that keeping Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry no longer matters.
“It would be a precedent for more of the same later in the century.
“The need for housing does not constitute the exceptional circumstances needed to justify development in the green belt.”
Peter Horridge, from Hockley Heath Parish Council, said: “We’ve seen a lot of development over the last 20 years.It’s an area that the parish council thinks ‘enough is enough’ and we would like to have a rest from further development.”