Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Birmingham - Don’t export housing problems into the West Midlands Green Belt

Birmingham Birmingham Photo: © John Garghan/Flickr

11 May 2015 

Countryside campaigners say Birmingham can accommodate more housing without losing precious countryside.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England believes work for the Birmingham and Black Country local enterprise partnerships, which claims Birmingham needs to export 30,000 houses into surrounding districts, may be flawed.

Most of the proposed houses would be in the countryside, many in the protected Green Belt, although councils are still debating where they might go.

CPRE West Midlands says the predictions of future households are questionable. In particular they assume household sizes will continue to drop, even though the trend has levelled off in the last decade. They also do not make enough allowance for new housing coming forward in the next twenty years on sites we don’t yet know about, even though this has been a major source of housing in the past.

They also warn that exaggerating the number of houses needed will not mean more are built, it will simply force councils to release Green Belt land while brown field sites are on hold.

Steve Anderson, regional chair of CPRE West Midlands said: ‘The priority must be to build houses where they are needed and for the people who need them, but instead of that councils may be forced to build on Green Belt land.’

‘Yes, there may be a need for some new housing in the countryside but we believe this may be far less than the recent report suggests and we would be better to build the houses we need now on brownfield sites and only release the Green Belt when we know it is genuinely needed.’

 

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