There should be no need to build any homes on Green Belt land in Aldridge until 2031 – and that goes for the rest of the Black Country too.
I am campaigning to ensure that derelict and disused ‘brownfield’ sites are targeted for development before cherished Green Belt.
We all understand that we need more houses, but I passionately believe we need to be careful where we allow them to be built.
Meeting the needs of local people and families in Aldridge, Walsall and the wider region is a major challenge, but progress is being made with record regional housebuilding and 770 being built in Walsall last year.
However, this should not be at the expense of our open spaces, and we are now seeing planning applications targeting the green spaces across the Black Country that are so important to us. That’s why I am campaigning with local MP Wendy Morton to protect the Green Belt and promote ‘brownfield first’.
I have championed the region’s “brownfield first” approach to housing and is making it happen, winning £350 million of Government funding to clean up derelict sites – funding topped up with another £84 million this Summer to keep up the pace.
The fact is there are enough of these old brownfield sites in Walsall and the wider Black Country to ensure we don’t have to build on the Green Belt between now and 2031.
I have also pressed to see 20% of new homes built as affordable and changed the definition of “affordable” locally to be linked to local pay – bringing new homes within reach of more people.
In Walsall, I am working with Conservative Walsall Council and MPs Eddie Hughes and Wendy Morton to deliver brownfield first in the borough – with new homes on sites like the old Caparo factory and Harvestime bakery in the town centre, helping protect Green Belt sites like those around Aldridge.