Kidderminster-based UKIP MEP James Carver is urging Wyre Forest planning chiefs to adopt the Government’s latest figures for housing targets and save the town’s threatened green belt.
Consultants Amion second-guessed the methodology the Government was expected to introduce in suggesting to the district council that 300 new homes a year were needed up until 2034, totalling 5,400 plus a further 600 care home places.
But the Government’s Housing Need Data Consultation Table quotes a reduced figure of 246 new homes a year needed over the next 10 years.
Mr Carver said: “If you extend that to 2034 – the period of the council’s proposed Local Plan – the total is 4,428, which is almost 1,000 less than Amion claimed.
“The council’s own Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment states the potential number of homes that could be built on existing developable sites is 4,543 – well within the revised total required.
“I urge the council to adopt the official figures which would negate the need to encroach on valued green belt bordering Spennells and Offmore and at the rear of Baldwin Road.
“There is fervent opposition to the Draft Local Plan, which went out to public consultation in the summer, because of the threat to Kidderminster’s green belt.
“Amion’s figures are – for 10 years at least – out of kilter with Government forecasts, which show such infringement is unnecessary. Furthermore, there is nothing to suggest the annual figure should change in the eight years from 2026 to 2034.
“I hope the councillors will take heed of these figures which were not available at the time the draft plan was drawn up and make the required amendments to protect the green belt.”
Linda Walters, speaking for Spennells Against Further Expansion, welcomed Mr Carver's defence of the green belt, saying: “We also hope that WFDC will now adjust their figures accordingly. It is quite apparent that it is not necessary to develop the fields adjacent to Spennells."