Campaigners call to 'halt destruction of countryside' in Balsall Common housing plans - The Solihull Observer

Campaigners call to 'halt destruction of countryside' in Balsall Common housing plans

Solihull Editorial 17th Jan, 2019   0

CAMPAIGNERS are calling to halt ‘the destruction of the countryside’ in Balsall Common and Berkswell after amendments to the Local Plan were released.

The Draft Local Plan Supplementary Consultation document is set to be discussed by cabinet at a meeting on Thursday (January 17).

An officer’s report to the cabinet ahead of the meeting recommends the cabinet approves moving forward with the new document and agreeing a six-week public consultation.

The document lists all sites in the borough set for development.




There are six plots of land, with almost 1,700 homes, earmarked for development in Balsall Common and Berkswell.

Groups including The Friends of the Berkswell Windmill said they are appalled at the council’s latest attempts to build on green fields.


A spokesperson for the campaigners said: “This flies in the face of Mayor Andy Street’s and Councillor Bob Sleigh’s, leader of Solihull Council, published plan which advocates building on previously developed land so that green fields, our countryside and wildlife, may be protected.”

Last year housing secretary James Brokenshire put the adoption of the East Hertfordshire District Council’s Local Plan on hold amid concerns about the release of green belt land.

The spokesperson added the proposal goes against Mr Brokenshire’s advice.

They added: “We call upon Solihull Council and Mayor Andy Street to halt the destruction of our countryside and instead build upon previously developed sites.

“National planning guidance states that development should not take place within the vicinity of national monuments.

“So why is Solihull Council so keen to build over 230 flats and houses opposite the mill and elsewhere on fields in our village?

“International research shows that such development will stop Berkswell Windmill’s sails from turning.”

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