GREEN BELT THREATENED:
Many hectares of Stourbridge Green Belt are under threat of development. Sites within Norton, Pedmore and Cradley have been put forward by landowners in a ‘call for sites’, threatening the future of our local countryside.
Why are these sites under threat of development?:
The Black Country Plan (formerly known as the “Black Country Core Strategy”) is a “planning and regeneration plan” for the combined four Black Country councils: Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The Strategy is undergoing a review of development needs to take it up to 2036.
As part of this development review, a “call for sites” was put out, asking local landowners to submit sites for potential future development. A map and list of all Dudley sites (March 2018) is available on the Call For Sites Page of the Core Strategy website.
What Actions Can Be Taken?
The next opportunity for the public to comment on the use of the Green Belt for development will be during the Consult Draft plan part of the Process. This is timetabled for October/November 2019. See this Black Country Plan page.
The timetable for the main phases of the Black Country Plan can be found in the Pamphlet “Local Development Scheme 2018-2021” PDF. Currently this reads:
Take Action Now:
Find out what you can do on our Campaign Page
Sign up to receive email notifications of our campaign and alerts of key dates.
Sign the petition to ask Dudley Council: Protect Stourbridge Green Belt.
All offers of help and expertise at this time would be gratefully received. Please email us at the following address:
Potential removal of Green Belt protection:
Currently, all these above sites are protected from development by their Green Belt status. However, as part of the Core Strategy review, a review of the Green Belt is also taking place. This process has the potential to remove Green Belt protection from areas which currently enjoy protected status. There is NO public consultation on this process, and we can only wait to see what the outcome will be.
Timetable of the Green Belt Review:
The company Land Use Consultants has been appointed to carry out the Green Belt Review. Information in the Tender Brief for the Assessment suggests there will be three stages to the review, in summary these are:
Stage 1 – Green Belt Purposes Study (consultants report due 26th Oct 2018)
Provide a more detailed assessment of the South Staffs and Black Country Green Belt to identify strategic land parcels and judge which perform more or less strongly against green belt purposes.
Stage 2 – Green Belt Assessment (consultants report due 4th Jan 2019)
The work will take account of the Stage 1 assessment of Green Belt purposes and use constraints mapping and a high level assessment of sustainability and infrastructure constraints / opportunities to identify opportunities to accommodate housing-led and / or employment development in these areas.
Stage 3 – Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity Assessment of development opportunities (consultants report due 8th Feb 2019)
Assess the landscape sensitivity and capacity of all parcel options identified in Stage 1 for each type of development specified in Stage 1, including an assessment of the relative landscape sensitivity of different uses where applicable.
A Final Report from the consultants was due 28th Feb 2019 but we still await the results.
Save Stourbridge Green Belt is an independent website run by residents of Stourbridge.
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.