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Wednesfield North City Councillors Oppose Green Belt Development.

Objections – South Staffordshire District Council Local Plan Review.

The three Wednesfield North City Councillors are to oppose the development of agricultural land in Essington, marked as ‘Land North of Linthouse Lane’ in the South Staffordshire District Council – Local Plan Review.

• We object against the Preferred Option G- and its proposals for thousands of homes aligned alongside City of WOLVERHAMPTON Boundary adjacent to the Wednesfield North Ward.
• We strongly object to this huge residential housing project which we believe will alter the area, and the amenity we share with Essington.
• We want to see the Brownfield sites identified, and developed first in our own conurbation, before the developers are able to press Local Authorities for valuable Greenfield Sites.
• We strongly Object to natural light, flora and fauna, animals and birds plus losing valuable amenity. Adjacent to our own local Wednesfield boundary with Essington and Staffordshire.
• We also support Essington Action Group in their demand for evidence of the requirements regarding Brownfield sites outside the West Midlands conurbation to be examined again.
• We also feel that the Essington Action Group are correct in their submissions that the ‘Preferred Option G- chosen by South Staffordshire District Council ‘ has been written just for this land on the Wednesfield Boundary – and not for any other area of their document.

Councillors Phil Bateman MBE, Councillor Rita Potter, and Councillor Mary Bateman – All strongly object to the loss of this land – marked now by South Staffordshire District Council in the Parish of Essington, as Green Belt.
The residents of Wednesfield North which we as City Councillors represent, enjoy the current countryside, the animals, the birds, the Flora and Fauna of the Green Belt in Essington. We in Wolverhampton see the current land as a delight and a much-used local amenity.
We enjoy seeing the land farmed agriculturally, as an amenity.
All three of us enjoy the farming that takes place on the land inside the Essington Parish.
We love to see the crop rotation, the cattle from time to time. As does our residents. Whilst it is on the ‘other side’ of our Local Boundary, we see as do our local Wednesfield inhabitants. An agricultural sector that within our great City is indeed a rare occurrence now.
So, the tasks that we see taking place from our borough boundary, are not to be scoffed at. They help to define the neighbourhood.
They are of course educational to city folks, a great activity that was once practiced far more regularly inside Wolverhampton than is the fact today.
The history that is evident on the land, from the historic Monarchs Way, to the industrial history of the old Mineral Railway, are valuable to local Wednesfield residents. The agricultural life is just feet away from urban and city living. Two very different activities that takes place just a few yards south of the Local Government boundary line within Essington and Staffordshire. The history of the land as it once was used is important for everyone today.
Wednesfield residents will not want to see the land lost to residential development of such huge proportions.
The land also has a huge historic interest to Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
This land now being discussed for housing once provided Wolverhampton and the Black Country with aviation history. History is an economic driver. We can harness that history into providing informed walks and generating amenity value with even greater benefits to Public Health and Wellbeing.
In Kitchen Lane there was regular landing and take offs of planes. In 1928 and 1929. Captain Summerfield of the Cornwall Aviation Company gave flights also from Blackhalve lane in Wednesfield. Amazingly as many as three thousand people took flights 1928. I am sure that neither Essington or Wednesfield people would want to see this aviation and such historical sites lost forever by the building of residential homes. Especially when we can develop an historic interest to go alongside the rural character that we already have here.

One such air-show came to Kitchen Lane on 30th July 1931. It was a very big air-show and putting on a big air-show you had to have a big back up team. They cleared the airstrip, checked with farmers, and the Ministry beforehand, then ran a motorcar over the airstrip at 60mph!
These shows were very popular but they did require a very big organisation and the flights took place for around four years. So, there you have it Ashmore Park has a history of aircraft landings and take offs
In a City the size and complexity of the City of Wolverhampton, there is very few green spaces within our City boundaries, that give this sort of wonderful experience, we have that Essington and South Staffordshire has provided and still does provide.
The City of Wolverhampton is a City of 260,000 people. We form part of the West Midlands Conurbation.
Living where we do there is nothing locally that allows the general enjoyment, we get from having the proximity of this land for our general amenity. If we lose it our residents will be impoverished forever.
It’s one of the few geographical places that City of Wolverhampton folk can see a ‘big unhindered sky’, watch the sun set, and then see the moon and the stars. There is little or no light pollution, so it is indeed a very rare site indeed.
We can watch Brown Hares, Foxes and Badgers hunt across the fields, and watch a Peregrine and Buzzard hunt the fields for their food. Its important we keep the Green Belt in this area as it is without doubt a huge benefit to our physical and mental health.
It is our view that our residents in Wednesfield North Ward which has a population of 11,019 of which 8% is BME. Should have the benefit of the Green Belt to help mitigate against the conditions that are prevalent locally.
it is a fact that 18.5% of Wednesfield North children are living in poverty. Having the Green Belt as an asset on the doorstep, plays an important role in the ability of these children and their families to take advantage of these green spaces locally. Losing the Green Belt would have a detrimental effect on Wednesfield North families.
As a City Council we are always looking to improve our Local Neighbourhood. Work undertaken by the City informs that 64.8% are satisfied with their neighbourhood. This is close to the City average. But if we lose this huge Green Belt benefit to housing or any other development.
Then we will also start to see us lose our own hard fought for Wednesfield Neighbourhood satisfaction ratings.
This will be because our already heavily used roads, and infrastructure here in Wednesfield will be also submerged as the 9,000 homes will tip huge amounts of people motorists and pollution into, and onto our own infrastructure and highway requirements.
9,000 homes alongside Wednesfield North and Wolverhampton City and County Boundaries will stretch our City education and health services, our District neighbourhood facilities, local district shopping and Public transport requirements.

We will object by December 12th deadline – and continue to develop argument against this South Staffordshire District Proposal.

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Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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