Aldridge MP Wendy Morton and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street are asking local people to help them protect local green belt land by filling in a new survey on the area’s cherished open spaces.
Mr Street, who heads up the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has joined the local MP to launch the survey, which is being delivered to thousands of homes across Aldridge and Streetly.
Mr Street said: “At the moment, the Black Country Core Strategy is being drawn up, which will decide where new homes should be built. We want to make it clear that we want to protect our green belt and open spaces in Aldridge-Brownhills.We all understand that there is a real need for new homes, and the council is having to ask where they should be built over the next 15 to 20 years. So far, 200 sites in the Black Country have been suggested, which include building homes on green fields. I have always said that we should first focus on abandoned and neglected sites, often called Brownfield sites. We’re talking about the kind of former industrial sites that we have plenty of across the Black Country.”
Aldridge-Brownfields MP Wendy Morton is urging local people to have their say by filling in the new survey. "The fact is, we can build homes and protect our green spaces, but we need your help,” she said. "We want residents to fill in our survey, so we can share their opinions on open spaces with the people making the decisions. We know that Walsall Council is doing all it can to protect the green belt, but it is important that local people have their say, to show how strongly they feel about the issue.”
The survey, which is being delivered to local homes by volunteers over the coming weeks, asks residents for their opinion on a number of topics, from the use of public funds to reclaim old industrial sites, to what they expect from their local council in terms of housing.
Mr Street said that by working with Government, the WMCA had already secured £350 million of housing investment, and that Walsall was leading the way on reclaiming old brownfield sites for development. "Projects like the work to reclaim a former industrial site on Goscote Lane show there is a real ambition to use Brownfield sites first, and Walsall is pioneering this approach. But we need the support of local residents to ensure decision makers fully understand how passionately people feel about green spaces, so that the good work we have started targeting brownfield sites carries on.”