Developer Bloor Homes is to hold two drop-in consultations this week to ask local residents what community facilities they would like to see as part of any potential development of North Worcestershire Golf Club in Northfield.
In February, a petition against development of the Hanging Lane site gained 448 signatures in under 24 hours. However in April, despite strong opposition from local people and politicians, club chairman Roger Adams announced that, due to the financial situation of the club: ““To put it starkly, the club is simply unsustainable and we have no option but to sell.”
The club have therefore ‘entered into an agreement’ with Bloor Homes who hope to develop the land for housing, with space for community and leisure use.
NWGC board members and Bloor Homes representatives have been meeting with local politicians, including MP Richard Burden and local councillors, all of who have expressed opposition to the sale and development of the land.
Back in April, Bloor Homes reassured locals that they would consult with them openly about plans for the site. Many were disappointed when representatives from the company attended Longbridge ward meeting in June, but did not speak in the meeting.
However, Land Director of Bloor Homes, Duncan Mackay said: “It has always been our intention to fully engage with and involve local people in the process when the time was right and, despite what might have been reported, we genuinely seek and value their views. These [drop-in consultation] dates were booked some time ago as the first stage in an ongoing consultation with local residents and we look forward to meeting them.”
Bloor Homes intend to make a significant proportion of the land available for public use and Mr Mackay said: “We would very much like local people to have a say on what should be included. This is an ideal opportunity for all residents to let us know exactly the type of facilities they would like to be able to enjoy on the site. I would urge residents to keep an open mind, come and view the proposals and let us know what they would like to see in the substantial open space provided on the site.”
Cllr Andy Cartwright (Lab, Longbridge) said: “I submitted the petition that residents signed against this development to Birmingham City Council and it is important that residents attend these consultations and put their views forward.”
Bloor Homes say that following this initial consultation, a masterplan for the site will be drawn up, taking into account residents’ feedback. This plan will be presented at a further public consultation later in the year, prior to an outline planning application being submitted.
The developer also intends to set up a ‘working group’ with councillors and local representatives to ensure that they are fully involved in the proposals as they progress.
Drop-in consultation dates
- Thursday 10th July 3pm – 8pm
- Saturday 12th July 10am – 5pm
- Hollymoor Centre 8 Manor Park Grove, Northfield B31 5ER