Save the green belt! Street’s call to action in the face of housing demand
WEST Midlands Mayor Andy Street called calls from Birmingham City Council for Solihull to take more green belt housing as ‘outrageous’.
Mr. Street, who grew up in Solihull, angrily responded to the borough’s demands for development, which would further endanger his green belt sites due to the lack of contaminated sites.
In his response to Solihull’s already controversial local plan – due to the level of development reserved for Green Belt lands – Mr Street said Labor-controlled Birmingha wanted to see more development in Solihull by stating that ‘ Solihull’s figure is disappointing ” and that he should “ maximize his contribution.
The city even admits that the development it calls for does not meet Solihull’s needs but Birmingham’s – saying the Borough needs to take more ‘given the location close to where the need is feel ”.
“Birmingham’s demands on Solihull are frankly outrageous,” said Mr Street.
“They know full well that Solihull does not have brownfield sites, so if their pressure is allowed to succeed, there would be an unacceptable loss of green belt in the borough.
“Solihull is grappling with an intense housing challenge – high demand and a chronic shortage of suitable sites.
“He’s already helping Birmingham by meeting some of their needs and Birmingham has responded by demanding a lot more.
“Boards have a duty to cooperate – they don’t have a duty to try to force other small councils to sacrifice their greenbelt to solve the bigger council problem.
“Regionally, I have done all I can to promote ‘brownfield first’ and strongly encourage Solihull Council to reject Birmingham’s attempt to increase Solihull’s development.”
Solihull council has already planned to take 2,105 houses to meet Birmingham’s housing needs, but Mr Street said city council said it was ‘not clear why only this level’.
Mr. Street said the city council is also asking for a review to allow for even more development before the local borough plan goes into effect.