Andrew Mitchell MP, speaking at a packed public meeting of nearly 400 Royal Suttonians, organised by Suzanne Webb from Project Fields, to protest at the despoiling of Sutton’s Green Belt, has announced that he will seek a debate in the House of Commons to protest vehemently about the appalling plans to build an extraordinary number of homes on Sutton’s Green Belt.
Speaking at the meeting he said “if Birmingham’s Labour Council continues with these ill-thought through and destructive plans, then I will ensure that there is a debate on this matter in the House of Commons at the appropriate time.
The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the strong Green Belt protection which the Government expects and insists that the green belt should be developed “in exceptional circumstances only”. The Council is also obliged to fully consult local people. My constituents in Royal Sutton were consulted in 2014 and with virtual unanimity made clear that they are totally opposed to these plans.
While in Sutton we are not against building new homes, as we have shown within Sutton Coldfield itself, these plans are ill-thought through and need to be radically altered.
I urge the Council to think carefully about the compromise proposal that I put forward to the Planning Inspector at the Enquiry in Birmingham that any plans to build on Sutton’s Green Belt be placed on hold for at least eight years, until we are clear about the need.”
Andrew Mitchell also said that there was no case for destroying the countryside of Area D (Peddimore) since there was currently no requirement for an industrial site of that scope in the West Midlands “we had the same arguments put by John Prescott which were subsequently dismantled and stopped when the conservatives were in power in Birmingham’s local authority”.
Suzanne Webb said “I more than welcome Andrew Mitchell’s intervention. To support his decision during the current consultation all residents of Royal Sutton Coldfield should demonstrate the strength of their opposition to the Council’s plan to build on the Green Belt. Don’t worry about the technical detail of this consultation, just grab your friends, family and neighbours and write to the Planning Officer explaining why no Green Belt should be released for development. The City Council did not listen to us before but if we get a resounding volume of opposition they will have to listen this time.”