THE borough is being robbed of ‘vital’ green space for housing say councillors reviewing Solihull’s Draft Local Plan.
Following a public consultation, the updated draft went before last week’s cabinet meeting for approval where it came under fire from Coun David Jamieson as it emerged that land at Babbs Mill, off Foxglove Crescent, was still earmarked for future housing.
“One in five in my ward don’t have a garden at all, others have a postage stamp,” he said. “The green space near houses in the north of the borough is vital. I’m most annoyed about Babbs Mill. It was set up as a nature reserve in 1970s for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. We will celebrate the Queen’s 60th by concreting over it.”
Karl Macnaughton, (Green, Chelmsley Wood) added: “The value of green space is not getting a piece of land and putting stuff in it. A very small amount of green space in a vastly dense area is of much higher value than the same quality of land in a different place.”
But Coun Robert Sleigh, (Con, Bickenhill) said there was ‘a desperate need’ for affordable housing.
“Some of these sites will be controversial,” added Ken Meeson, (Con, Dorridge & Hockley Heath). “But it’s balanced. I think just about every ward has some development in this plan.”
Cabinet members approved the changes to the Plan and it is now due to go before full council before it is submitted to the Secretary of State.