South Staffordshire is throwing away its Green Belt for nothing
South Staffordshire is throwing away its Green Belt for nothing in its new 20-year plan, countryside campaigners have warned.
In its response to the latest consultation on the South Staffordshire Local Plan, which closes on 23 December, CPRE West Midlands has provided detailed evidence to show that there is easily enough land already allocated to meet the needs for housing in South Staffordshire.
CPRE wants South Staffordshire to drop plans to build on Green Belt for houses which are needed in the Black Country.
Instead, CPRE wants them to follow the lead of Dudley, who dropped controversial plans for housing in the Green Belt because they rejected the numbers they were given, and said houses should be built on brownfield sites instead.
Up to now, South Staffordshire couldn’t do this because the Government imposed outdated housing numbers on local authorities, even when they were not supported by the most recent evidence, so the Government could meet its politically driven target for housebuilding.
But now Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, has accepted that those targets should no longer be mandatory and that land for houses should be found in urban areas and not offloaded into the countryside.
Peter King, Vice-Chair of CPRE West Midlands, said “We told South Staffordshire they didn’t need to build on the Green Belt and, up to now, they have been able to hide behind the Government’s housing targets. Now it’s clear Government want those houses built on brownfield sites and neighbouring authorities, like Dudley, agree. South Staffordshire should halt its plan and re-think before they throw away their precious countryside for nothing.”