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17th Sep, 2021

Save the Green Belt! Street's call for action over housing demand

Solihull Editorial 16th Apr, 2021

WEST Midlands Mayor Andy Street has branded calls from Birmingham City Council to make Solihull take more green belt housing as ‘outrageous’.

Mr Street, who grew up in Solihull, responded angrily to demands for the borough take more development, which would put at risk more of its green belt sites due to the lack of brownfield sites.

In its response to Solihull’s already controversial Local Plan – due to the level of development earmarked for green belt land – Mr Street said the Labour-controlled Birmingha, wants to see for more development in Solihull saying ‘Solihull’s figure is disappointing’ and it should ‘maximise’ its contribution.

The city even admits the development it is calling for is not to meet Solihull’s needs but Birmingham’s – saying the borough needs to take more ‘given the location close to where the need arises’.

“Birmingham’s demands on Solihull are frankly outrageous,” said Mr Street.

“They know full well that Solihull does not have the brownfield sites to so if their pressure is allowed to succeed there would be an unacceptably large loss of green belt in the borough.

“Solihull is grappling with an intense housing challenge – high demand and a chronic shortage of suitable sites.

“It is already helping Birmingham out by meeting some of its needs and Birmingham has responded by demanding much more.

“Councils have a duty to co-operate – they do not have a duty to try and coerce other smaller councils to sacrifice their green belt to solve the bigger council’s problem.

“Regionally, I have done everything I can to promote ‘brownfield first’ and I would strongly encourage Solihull Council to reject Birmingham’s attempt to increase development in Solihull.”

Solihull Council has already planned to take 2,105 homes to support Birmingham’s housing needs, but Mr Street says the city council says it is ‘unclear why only this level’.

Mr Street says the city council is also demanding a review to enable even more development before the borough’s Local Plan comes into force.

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