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MP warns Commons about “Deep Anger” over Green Belt consultation

Andrew Mitchell MP warns House of Commons of “Deep Anger” in the town at the way the views of the vast majority of 100,000 local people have been ignored by Birmingham Council throughout the consultation process.

Following the publication of the Government’s Housing White Paper this week Andrew Mitchell has told the House of Commons of the “deep anger” in the Royal Town at the way the Labour Council has wholly disregarded the views of the local community throughout the consultation period on Sutton’s Green Belt and the Birmingham Development Plan.

Andrew Mitchell said that there was much in the White Paper which was right, and he welcomed the decision by the Government not to change the current policy which only allows building on the Green Belt in exceptional circumstances. This followed strong representations by a group of Members of Parliament led by Andrew Mitchell about any watering down of Green Belt protection – not least because the current level of protection is inadequate.

Mr Mitchell asked of the Secretary of State “Does he understand the deep anger that is felt throughout Sutton Coldfield, where the reasonable views of 100,000 people have been totally ignored by a Labour council during a deeply flawed process involving the unnecessary building of 6,000 homes on our green belt, and their frustration at the fact that the Government have not been able to stop that process?”

Andrew Mitchell has argued strongly for the preservation of Sutton’s Green Belt, and the need to Birmingham City Council to explore all possible alternatives – especially the development of brownfield land and a more innovative and imaginative approach to housing proposals - before allowing building on Sutton’s Green Belt. He has called for an eight year moratorium on building to allow a proper assessment to be made of the housing needs of Britain’s second city.

Andrew Mitchell said “everything the Government has put forward in this White Paper reaffirms our objections to the plans to build on Sutton’s Green Belt. Birmingham City Council should be made to prove the “exceptional” circumstances that would make building on our Green Belt viable – as yet we have had neither proof nor explanation of the perceived need. If the Government hopes to address the housing crisis by building more houses – which it must do – they need to make sure that they have the trust of the public that these will be built in the right places and for the right reasons”.

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