Protect our Greenbelt Land

Protect our Greenbelt land…….

I have just attended a meeting about a proposal for a development of 50 houses and 170 car parking space on greenbelt land in the village of Blakedown as well as a further 50 car parking spaces by Blakedown station. It seems that to get the spaces needed for station parking in Kidderminster and Blakedown the village of Blakedown needs to accommodate 80% of the parking needs. It seems a greenbelt field is a cheaper option for a car park than a dual height car park at Kidderminster station. Plus the builders of the housing development would bare the cost of building said car park. The simple fact that the housing development and larger car park will be on green belt land does not appear to matter. It was suggested that the current Wyre Forest Council administration put it forward again as a better option than another development in Stourport which was rejected as it was on greenbelt land? Councillors it seems can pick and choose which green belt land is more important!

The only three speakers at the meeting in favour of the proposal felt it important to point out they had sat on planning meetings at other councils so understood how these proposals are developed and were also keen to state they were architects. They felt the development would be a good thing, maybe because they are the architects hoping to design said development??

They failed to take on board problems of no school places, no doctors or dentists in the village and the pressure this puts on practice s in Hagley and Kidderminster. The fact the village only has one small bakery/corner shop and post office. The already very busy main road through the village with only one pedestrian crossing. Also the fact that currently a lot of trains serving Kidderminster don’t stop in Blakedown. Am I to believe that people who this car park need is for will take the train in the morning from Blakedown to Birmingham then are only able to get back to Stourbridge or Kidderminster in the evening catch a bus to their car? Well no, as the current bus service only runs every hour and stops before many people would be getting back from work? Would they have to get a cab? Another cost on top of the cost of paying for parking?Also will it stop people parking on adjacent roads? Probably not as most feel the cost of a rail ticket is already high enough on top of a all day parking charge? Who benefits from all the money made?
The shoppers car park already causes parking problems for those in the Avenue as it is not free.

We are told by the government that we all will need to have electric cars going forward. Will this new parking facility have charging points?? Not sure it’s that easy to provide such infrastructure on a green belt field? Will the houses be heated by a ground source heat pump as gas fired central heated homes will not be built in future development?

It is short sighted thinking yet again to make up numbers, high level thinking proposed in central plans to satisfy a housing need we allegedly have. The problem is the houses that are built often do not solve the problem they are meant to as they are either too big, or too expensive. We have a lot of housing which remains empty or left to ruin which council should invest in and make into proper homes for people and not allow office blocks to be turned into rooms to house people under permitted development. The money taken when councils sold of housing under the right to buy schemes should have been reinvested to create more affordable housing years ago. Instead it went elsewhere and now we pay the price by building on greenbelt? What about drainage, flooding from concreting over land which at the moment can absorb water? We are going to create more flooding issues if we continue to allow these developers to concrete over our countryside.

We have villages and green spaces for a reason they help us to breathe, they give our country its integrity as a green and pleasant land. Why are people in power so keen to spoil things? Why are they so short sighted? There seems to be little strategic thinking. They rely on planning law and district plans etc, they ultimately can change laws to get what they want, they can ignore a parish councils local plan as the district plan over rules it!

Ultimately we need to protect our greenbelt, there is not much of it left. What is left needs to remain. Develop on brown field sites, look at empty housing, knock down empty offices and build proper affordable homes in places which have the schools, doctors ,dentists and stores to accommodate the people. Have proper infrastructure, don’t just build homes because they are needed, you need to create a proper community infrastructure. Just making a small village bigger as it has an field at the edge of it is not an answer. It’s s very lazy way to solve a bigger problem, in essence it is a good money earner for individuals whose housing or car park scheme will not impact their own day to day life going forward. It will mean they can tick a box to say housing needs and parking requirements for this borough have been met!

Sorry to rant it just makes me angry that those in power often fail to see the bigger picture and are not creative enough to think of alternatives. The environment is always the thing that suffers the most.

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