Council unveils plans for thousands of new homes

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 01/02 12:40

MORE THAN 2,800 homes could be built in Foxlydiate and a further 670 in Brockhill under plans to meet the borough's future housing needs.

Planners believe 6,400 properties are needed over the next two decades but the borough itself only has space for 3,000, meaning the public will be asked about building the extra 3,400 over the border in Bromsgrove.

Councillors are expected to approve proposals to go out to consultation from February 25 to April 8 with the plans at a Bromsgrove District cabinet meeting on February 6 and a Redditch Borough executive meeting on February 12.

The plans represent a u-turn from the position in January 2011 when then council leader Carole Gandy pledged to build only 2,200 new homes - in addition to an existing 1,000 which had been built in the previous five years - with none over the border.

Speaking to the Standard, Coun Gandy said: "My view is that there is obviously a need for housing in Redditch but the need is less than what is being proposed by the council.

"We are being asked to impose housing upon Bromsgrove district which is said to be Redditch housing but the council tax will be paid to Bromsgrove, the new homes bonus will be paid to Bromsgrove and at the end of the day whoever lives there lives there, you can't stipulate it has to be only Redditch people.

"At some stage Redditch council has got to say enough is enough, you can't continue to accommodate the children of the children of the children, you just can't do it.

"There is a difference between need and desire and Redditch is just not big enough to cater for this. If we don't say no then what are we going to do next time when a local plan comes forward, where are we going to build then?"

Campaigner David Rose, chair of Webheath Action Group said the 'controversial' new housing proposal would affect everyone in Redditch and impact upon Bromsgrove but have a 'devastating effect' on Webheath residents.

"WAG and the residents of Webheath will resist these proposals with the utmost vigour and within the law. These proposals are not logical, they are ill informed and not sustainable.

"If local democracy is still alive in this country, these outrageous proposals will be quashed."

But authority leader Bill Hartnett said: "It is clear that over the next 20 years we will need more homes for our children and our children's children to live in. 6,400 more homes by 2030 is what the evidence points to and it's quite obvious that this would not fit into the boundaries of our small borough.

"That's why we have been in discussions with our neighbours and officers have come up with these proposals."

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