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Petitioning Sajid Javid

STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF SUTTON COLDFIELD'S GREEN BELT

The Government must stop Birmingham City Council's ruthless plan to destroy our Green Belt.

Residents resent what they see as a plan forced upon them by their City Council. The plan is to build a Sustainable Urban Extension for 6,000 dwellings and an employment site which will be the size of a Jaguar Land Rover car plant.

Difficult decisions will always have to be made over the sensitive and somewhat emotional debate of the Green Belt, but residents should not have these decisions foisted upon them.

There are also better solutions to the unique position Birmingham faces which would satisfy the needs of present and future generations rather than a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived housing crisis and the removal of Green Belt.

Planning remains a confrontational and adversarial system, biased in favour of the decision makers and not local communities.  The planning system should be overhauled so that it is not as elaborate or forbidding, but one with a genuine intent to engage with communities and has an honest intent to protect the Green Belt.     

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Background

Project Fields was initiated in 2013 to ensure that as many residents were involved in the consultation over the controversial plan to build a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) for between 6,000 and 10,000 dwellings on Green Belt in Sutton Coldfield.  

Residents agree that there is a housing need and that Birmingham has a unique position as it has to deliver 89,000 dwellings by 2031. But in decision making, unmet need for housing should not outweigh Green Belt Protection and planning is very clear that it does not constitute the “very special circumstances” justifying inappropriate development on a site within the Green Belt.

However, here in Birmingham it apparently does.

Of significance is that Birmingham does not  have a “ green belt “ wedge around its city boundaries, it has only  4070 hectares remaining, in comparison West Midlands has approximately 225,000 hectares. 

Planning policy is supposed to “be genuinely plan-led, empowering local people to shape their surroundings…”  but over 6,000 comments and recommendations of how the plan could be better served by brownfield development first and putting the right infrastructure in, to meet both current needs and those of the future SUE have been ignored.

Not one comment was taken onboard.

This brings into question the validity of planning policy and whether it has any genuine intent to control urban growth or empower the subject matter experts (those who actually live in the area) to shape their surroundings.

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION 

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  • Sajid Javid


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