Why isn't Birmingham taking more homes instead of south Worcestershire, says MP (From Worcester News)
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Why isn't Birmingham taking more homes instead of south Worcestershire, says MP
WEST Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin is blaming Birmingham for the county's housing struggle - saying it should be taking more responsibility.
Birmingham's local plan earmarks land for just 51,000 homes, compared to south Worcestershire's new target of 28,370, despite the Second City being more than three times bigger.
Mrs Baldwin also said Bromsgrove and Redditch are only planning for 4,000 more properties each, just half the tally in Worcester and Malvern.
She said: "I have written to the SWDP management asking them to apply fresh thinking to this issue.
"We already have an ambitious plan for growth in our area, with room for three towns the size of Pershore "We can’t build on flood plains, our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the conservators’ land, and we need our prime agricultural land.
"But above all I think it is wrong that south Worcestershire is being asked to take more homes than other parts of Worcestershire and half as many as the whole of metropolitan Birmingham."
During a public examination last year, planning chiefs from councils in Birmingham and the Black Country turned up to say they were happy with Worcestershire's housing tally - but not the jobs.
The SWDP also earmarks 280 hectares of land for 30,000 jobs, but the Brum and Black Country wanted it shaved down.
Inspector Roger Clews has since rejected the stance, only asking for changes on the homes.
During the examination developers also put pressure on Mr Clews to allow for more properties, with some suggesting up to 36,000, which he rejected.
Councillor Geoff Williams, who sits on Worcester's planning committee, said: "We have to remember that some people were pushing for a significantly higher figure.
"We've now got to digest what's been announced, digest the business about the sites and move on so we can finalise this plan.
"At this stage it would be foolhardy to speculate on any particular sites."
For the last two weeks the city council has been asking the public to suggest any patches of land they think are suitable to be added to the SWDP.
The council says it will not release any details on the feedback until officers have had time to look through it.
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