HANDS off! – that’s the message from Redditch Councillors to Bromsgrove District Council which is casting an envious eye over land earmarked for new housing on the borough’s border.
In the years ahead Bromsgrove is having to find room for 7,000 new homes and in a worst case scenario a further 29,000 from the Birmingham overspill.
Under the ‘duty to co-operate’ it allocated land on the Redditch border at Foxlydiate and Brockhill for some 3,400 new homes to meet an anticipated growth in the borough’s population.
Redditch only extends to some 5,435 hectares while Bromsgrove district is four times as big with much more land at its disposal.
However now the Office for National Statistics has changed its formula for calculating housing growth, which might mean Redditch no longer needs so many new homes.
As a result, Bromsgrove, which is working on its new ten year district plan, has sent out the feelers to see if the land could be used to meet their housing needs.
But at Tuesday night’s meeting of Redditch’s executive committee councillors endorsed the view that it’s neighbour should look elsewhere to house its growing population.
The borough’s head of planning Ruth Bamford, who also heads up Bromsgrove’s planning department, told members: “It may be that the land which has been identified at Foxlydiate and Brockhill is no longer needed and the housing can be reconsidered.
“However it is not set out in stone what Redditch’s needs are going forward – who knows will or will not be needed?
“Redditch will have need for houses outside of 2030 and therefore the land should be reserved for Redditch’s needs.”
This view was endorsed by councillors as was a call for Redditch to be fully consulted on any plans by Bromsgrove to build elsewhere on the Redditch border as any new residents would have an impact on the town’s facilities and infrastructure.