Plans to keep green belt land ditched to make way for houses

By Connie Osborne Thursday 20 March 2014 Updated: 21/03 08:32

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LAND that had been earmarked as green belt in Webheath is now going to be built on, after almost 30 homes got the green light.

A total of 29 properties on Birchfield Road, opposite the Foxlydiate Arms, were given outline planning permission by Redditch Borough Council’s planning committee last Wednesday (March 12).

The site was originally earmarked as green belt in the council’s Local Plan No 3.

But following a review of the policy, the land was re-designated to meet housing requirements for up to 2030.

As part of the plans, five social rented houses will be built as well as three affordable homes. Some of the properties which sit close to the Bromsgrove Highway will not have windows on the back because of noise.

Resident Paul Frost said he wanted to keep the area as green belt and called for councillors to look at the ‘bigger picture.’

“There would be an extra volume of traffic using the junction and a constant flow of vehicles and families walking down the footpath which runs along the site.”

He added the road regularly flooded, while the junction by the Bromsgrove Highway was particularly dangerous.

But Andy Williams, speaking on behalf of applicant Jonathan Tomlinson, said the site was suitable, available and achievable, while fulfilling the council’s housing requirements and enhancing Webheath.

Coun Michael Chalk said he would find it difficult to walk from the development to the local shops, schools and bus station, and wanted more done to improve transport links, while planning committee chairman Coun Andy Fry said there were still unanswered questions on flooding.

“But I’m happy as this is an outline application I think this can be addressed further down the line,” he added.

Redditch Borough Council’s head of planning has now been granted authority to give final approval following negotiations including the amount of affordable housing, a financial contribution to highways improvements and education.

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