Land For Sale News : GREEN BELT BATTLE




REsidents living near a Solihull beauty spot are preparing to do battle against developers who want to build a business park on greenbelt land near their homes.

    People in the parishes of Tanworth-in-Arden and Earlswood are joining forces to take on the Umberslade Partnership which wants to develop part of Umberslade Park.

    Locals say the plans for six two-storey office units with parking for up to 350 cars will destroy the ancient parkland - part of the Forest of Arden and an historical deer park.

    They are also angry that Stratford Upon Avon District Council looks set to support the development when it is discussed at an area planning meeting later this week.

    Brenda Brown, a member of Earlswood and Forshaw Heath Residents' Association, said: "The developers want to build six two-storey office blocks on the site - four within the walled gardens of Umberslade Hall and another block on the water's edge.


    "This is prime greenbelt land and we fear this development will have a visually detrimental impact on this historical parkland."

    Mrs Brown said locals feared if the development went ahead others would follow, swallowing up the greenbelt land around the lakes which attract thousands of visitors, fishermen, ramblers and cyclists every year.

    Earlswood District Councillor Peter Brown, who is also opposing the plans, is hoping to get over a hip operation in time to make his opposition clear at Thursday's meeting.

    He said: "Greenbelt land is supposed to be protected and building on it is only allowed in extenuating circumstances.

    "We recently fought off plans for a similiar development about two miles away at Portway and hope to do the same again."

    A district council spokesman said the matter would be discussed at the area planning meeting at Wooton Wawen village hall in Alcester Road at 6pm on Thursday.

Greenbelt land test looms for government

The government faces a series of planning decisions over the next 12 months which will test its environmental credentials. In particular it must decide whether to allow home construction on greenbelt land as local authorities struggle to find enough development sites to satisfy rising housing demand.

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