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Community News - December 20/January 21

Community News From Around Our Area

Six Point Plan Will Help Protect Solihull Green Belt Says Andy Street

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says a six-point pledge drawn up by Solihull’s Conservative Council will help defend more Green Belt sites while building the new homes needed in the borough.

The pledge includes creating a new Local Plan which would help the Council reject developments deemed unacceptable, building hundreds of homes in the town centre and supporting ‘Brownfield First’ projects in the borough and across the region.

Mr Street, who leads the West Midlands Combined Authority, said, “Solihull faces the formidable challenge of protecting its cherished Green Belt for future generations, while also providing them with the homes that they need.

“There are no easy answers to this challenge, but we believe this six-point pledge provides a way forward.”

The six-point pledge proposes to:

  • Produce a Local Plan and strengthen the Council’s ability to reject unacceptable planning applications.
  • Support “Brownfield First” in Solihull, while also working regionally to regenerate communities in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
  • Build at least 700 homes in Solihull Town Centre, on sites like the Council House, to support the ongoing success of the local economy. Plus, new homes and a village centre at Kingshurst.
  • Build many more new homes as part of the HS2-led UK Central development and other areas in the “Hub” near Birmingham Interchange: up to 5000 homes are now planned.
  • Insisting on more tree planting, green buffers and space for nature where development does come forward.
  • Create new requirements to help support the independence of elderly residents, the disabled and those with special needs, as well as providing for first time buyers and those needing to rent.

Mr Street added, “By working to these six points, we will significantly reduce the threat to our Green Belt, whilst meeting the real demand from local families for a home of their own in the borough.

“At a regional level I am also working to deliver the ‘Brownfield First’ approach to housing – and have brought in £434 million to clean up derelict sites for homes, easing pressure on Green Belt sites in places like Solihull.

“I am also leading efforts to make the UK Central Hub happen, alongside the HS2 interchange at the NEC and airport. This has the potential to be a true game-changer for the West Midlands and, I believe, will play a massive role in defending the borough’s Green Belt.”

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