Results of the Survey
Please note the deadline for this has now passed. Thank you to all who took part.
Request for your participation in Green Belt and Housing research
Save Stourbridge Green Belt has been approached to give an interview about our views on Green Belt Development and the Housing Crisis. The interview will be conducted by an ESRC Doctoral Researcher in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham, Charles Goode, who has sent us a list of six questions on the topic to serve as a basis for the interview.
In order to best represent the views of the supporters of Save Stourbridge Green Belt we would appreciate if you are able to respond with any responses you have to his questions. We will then use the points you raise to compile a broad response to his questions which will reflect the general views of our supporters. All responses will be anonymised, and your contact details will not be shared with the researcher.
Any and all comments and responses are welcome, whether a single sentence or a long response to any of the questions. Please also feel free to include any comments which you don’t feel are covered by the questions.
Supporting material from researcher Charles Goode:
Dear Save Stourbridge Green Belt,
My name is Charles Goode and I am currently an ESRC Doctoral Researcher in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham.
My PhD is exploring the Green Belt and the housing crisis and has five main aims:
1. Evaluate the extent of support for the Green Belt among professional planners and the general public.
2. Examine geographical variation in the Green Belt’s effectiveness across English regions.
3. Evaluate to what extent housing development in the Green Belt is economically, practically, socially and politically feasible.
4. Briefly examine other/ alternative potential policies to solve the housing crisis.
5. Suggest recommendations on the ways in which housing development more generally can become more politically and economically acceptable.
The project is focusing on the West Midlands as a case study because, in many ways, it is a microcosm of wider Green Belt issues and quite representative of regional England. I am therefore very interested in Save Stourbridge Green Belt’s opposition to land being released from the West Midland Green Belt for housing developments near Stourbridge.
The project’s overall research topic is the Green Belt and the housing crisis. It focuses on Green Belts in regional England, in particular the past and present relationship of Birmingham and its neighbouring authorities. It therefore aims to widen what has been a largely London/ South East centric debate in terms of the effectiveness of the Green Belt and whether/ how it could be reformed. In addition, the Green Belt debate is arguably very polarised so this project aims to move the debate forward beyond the two polarised perspectives of viewing the Green Belt as needing to be completely abolished on the one hand and completely sacrosanct on the other. The project is therefore taking quite a broad approach in analysing Green Belts to enable wider consideration, debate and enquiry about the effectiveness of the Green Belt as a policy, whether it should reformed and what a 21st Century Green should look like.
As part of this ‘conversation’, I am very interested in why it is campaigners are often really opposed to housing development, especially in the Green Belt. Although I have consulted extensively with planners and planning stakeholders, I think that is vital that your ‘voices’ and views as campaigners are directly reflected in the research, especially given the widespread and (probably) unfair generalisation and dismissal of campaigners as ‘NIMBYs’. I am therefore very interested in researching your views on the Green Belt generally and specifically to land being released from the Stourbridge Green Belt for housing development, exploring how you oppose housing development in the Green Belt and establishing how housing development in England could be improved in order to meet better community concerns.
I am very interested in any additional points, perspectives or other geographical examples beyond what is explored below.
1. To what extent do you believe that the West Midlands Green Belt around Birmingham has been a successful policy overall?
2. Given how currently unaffordability housing is in England and the West Midlands, why is there so much opposition to land being released from Green Belt at Stourbridge and generally in England? Also, would you say that your opposition is related to the land being Green Belt per se or perhaps it being in open countryside?
3. Obviously you are opposed to Green Belt development but how would you solve the housing crisis, i.e. to what extent do you feel that the housing crisis can be by urban intensification/ brownfield development, especially when there is also often opposition to urban intensification? Moreover, how far do you think that people’s housing aspirations, especially the desire of families for homes with gardens, can be accommodated in housing development on brownfield land? Also, is it fair to existing residents of urban areas to allocate all housing growth there? Or do you accept that some greenfield and/or Green Belt land has to be refused to solve the housing crisis?
4. Under the current planning system, each local authority (or authorities in a joint plan) have to meet their own housing need. Do you feel that having a more regional approach to planning would be a better way to plan/ manage the Green Belt?
5. Given that you are opposed to housing development in the Green Belt, how would you like to see a 21st century Green Belt? Do you think that it could be used more for recreation/community farming for example?
6. How could housing development be improved in this country? What sort of things would you make you less opposed to housing development or would you say that your opposition is more connected to the principal of housing development?
Save Stourbridge Green Belt is an independent website run by a group of Stourbridge residents.
Our aims are:
- to raise public awareness of threats to Stourbridge’s Green Belt.
- to inform local residents by providing links to publicly available material.
- to encourage participation in public consultations, relevant petitions and in contacting those in public office, thereby supporting the democratic process.