Disputed Plans to Build Homes on Green Space in Sutton Coldfield Street ‘Put on Hold’
This article was first published by the birminghammail.co.uk
The Friends of The Green would like to thank Birmingham Mail for their continued support.
Controversial plans to build homes on a green strip of land at the centre of a Sutton Coldfield street have been put on hold while the council awaits the outcome of two applications.
Birmingham City Council had started an informal ‘consultation’ process last November, revealing its proposal to build 28 bungalows on a much-loved grassy area.
Residents rallied quickly and set up a Friends of the Green group, submitting objections to the city council and applying for village green status to protect the land from development. If approved it would prevent development.
Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council has offered its support and submitted an application to have the green space listed as an asset of community value. If approved this would give residents first option on buying the land and also a say in any development.
This week Birmingham City Council confirmed it will not pursue its plans to develop the land – until those two applications have been decided.
Sophie Thompson, chair of the Dugdale Crescent residents association said: “Our members have worked specifically on the village green application and submitted on the first day we were able to in January.
“We have 91 members in the association and we know we have got 100 per cent opposition to the proposal.
“We heard on the grapevine the city council’s housing department had requested money be made available so they could go ahead with the planning application. That’s the money needed to built it.
“We filled in questionnaires and sent in photos to support the village green application.
“We have also asked for results of the initial consultation.
“We have been told at the moment the green has been removed from the land appropriation list. We are now awaiting the outcome of our village green application.
“Knowledge, time and effort has been put in by ordinary people with no legal experience. What they haven’t done, wouldn’t be worth doing.”
While Mere Green city councillor, Meirion Jenkins, said: “Birmingham City Council’s dreadful plans to build on Dugdale Crescent have been put on hold.
“There has been massive local opposition; not a single resident has contacted me in support of the proposal.
“The residents of Dugdale have forensically demolished every argument put forward by the council in support of the proposal and have applied for village green status using legislation designed to protect just such a vital community asset. Separately, Sutton Coldfield Town Council has also applied for the land to be recorded as an asset of community value.
“If granted, neither status will entirely prevent the proposal to build coming back but they do represent an important step in protecting Dugdale Crescent for present and future generations.
“Village Green status would probably require an intervention by the Secretary of State to permit building and the asset of community value status will mean that the land would have to be offered to the community for purchase before it could be built on.”
“Meanwhile, in order to build on land such as Dugdale, the council needed certain technical accounting changes to be approved by the Birmingham City Council cabinet and these items were withdrawn from the agenda pending the outcome of the residents’ and town council applications.
“The fight goes on.”
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: “Proposals to appropriate land in Dugdale Crescent for development have been placed on hold pending the outcome of an application for it to be granted village green status.”
Mrs Thompson added: “We would really welcome some legal advice from anybody who has got experience in land and village greens. You can contact us by email at: contact@friendsof thegreen.org.”