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Green belt threat angers villagers

CAMPAIGNERS urged Marston Green residents to make their voices heard over plans to build houses and businesses on green field sites.

CAMPAIGNERS urged Marston Green residents to make their voices heard over plans to build houses and businesses on green field sites.

Around 400 people crammed the village hall on Monday night, concerned about proposals for 150 houses in Chelmsley Lane, 134 houses on Moat House Farm, Elmdon Road, and the development of 23 acres of green belt land for commercial use in Coleshill Heath Road.

Concerns included traffic, parking, safety, overcrowded schools, pressures on health services, the impact on business and the environment, the type of development and the effect on quality of life.

The meeting was organised by Mgood (Marston Green Optimising Our Development) and urged people to respond to the local development framework consultation, the blueprint for Marston Green, and part of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s Emerging Core Strategy.

Councillor Bob Sleigh (Cons, Bickenhill) said: “There are 200 long-term development sites in Solihull. The majority will escape the developers.

“If we cannot keep the green belt then Marston Green loses it’s distinctiveness. They (the council) should have done it differently.

“They should have done it with us rather than to us. Why are we at the front line? The future of Marston Green is in your hands.

“There are people that need houses. Areas like Knowle and Dorridge get the quality and we will get the numbers.

“We need hundreds of letters. Hampton-In-Arden are particularly good at this. The second runway plan generated 400 individual letters.”

Caroline Spelman, Tory MP for Meridan, was unable to attend the meeting, but commented: “I entirely support residents demands to be properly consulted over any further development in Marston Green.

“I am particularly concerned about proposals to develop along Coleshill Heath Road when two planning enquiries have previously turned this down.”

The green belt land is the buffer between Marston Green and Birmingham Business Park.

Mgood argue that there is still land in the business park to build more units and that other units are empty. One thousand five hundred people have signed a petition to save it.

It is also claimed that remains of an Anglo-Saxon moat have been found in ancient farm land on the Moat House Farm site.

Mgood spokesman Jim Campbell, from Elmdon Lane, said: “We have been accused of NIMBYism, I don’t think we have a backyard left.”

Consultation ends on December 10.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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