Andrew Mitchell condemns Government backing for plan to build on Sutton Coldfield’s green belt
Andrew Mitchell condemns Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s decision to back plans to build on Sutton Coldfield’s green belt and warns of legal challenges to this proposal.
Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con)
Does the Secretary of State understand the anger and disappointment felt throughout Sutton Coldfield at his decision last week to back Labour’s wholly unnecessary plans to build on Sutton Coldfield’s green belt? Does he realise that this is a breach of the Conservative party’s election manifesto and his own words from just a few weeks ago? Does he now understand that we will seek to oppose his decision by all legal means and amend future legislation to give the protection that he has shown himself unable to provide?
My right hon. Friend has been a passionate and committed campaigner on this issue, and I respect that tremendously. The Government placed a hold on the Birmingham local plan precisely because they value the green belt: it is very, very special. However, when a local community has come forward with a robust plan, has looked at all the alternatives, has considered its housing needs and has prioritised brownfield sites, and when the independent planning inspectorate has said that the plan conforms to all the rules and regulations, the Government have no valid reason to stand in the way.