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District Plan Review – Meeting Future Housing Needs

This morning the Bromsgrove Advertiser and Bromsgrove Standard published online articles relating to the Bromsgrove’s future housing need and that there will be development within the Green Belt.

Bromsgrove Standard

Below, some background information – hopefully a balanced summary, please read this plus the supporting links/documents: 

As you will have read in the two newspaper articles, the District Council received over 3500 responses to a public consultation that took place last year. 

The District Council is developing a housing plan for the whole of Bromsgrove District, to meet the current and future needs. 

Officers from the District Council attended a Community Association Residents Meeting last October and encouraged residents to take part in the consultation. 

A notice of the consultation, District Plan Review and supporting documentation was placed on the Village Website

In March of this year an update was placed on the website

Bromsgrove is a dormitory district, with more people traveling out of the district to work than working in the district.  District wide there are transport infrastructure issues and a lack of affordable housing for young people.  Average house and property rental prices are the highest in Worcestershire.  There is an aging population and people are reporting that community/village centre are struggling, with hubs (e.g. village shops) closing.  Many people are reporting an increase in social isolation.

At the Residents Meeting, questions were asked, and views expressed.  All liked the rural character of Fairfield and all highlighted the traffic issues in the village.  Some people commented that they would like to see younger families move into the village – children feeding into the school and there being less of a reliance for families driving into the village –  and others the need to increase footfall to sustain village services, e.g. bus service and post office.

The Community Association understands that further consultations will now take place; e.g. if a community in the District that is sited within Green Belt has highlighted a need for 20 affordable houses, there will be a “call out” for sites that may be considered.  It is the intention of the District Council not to take whole areas out of the Green Belt but identified sites. 

The local Neighbourhood Plan, which started a couple of years ago, must conform with the District Plan.  The Neighbourhood Plan, which is being coordinated by the Parish Council with the support of the Community Association, highlights needs and details solutions.  Like the District Plan, there are several strands to a Neighbourhood Plan, one of these strands is housing.  E.g. If a community decides that there is a requirement for 20 affordable homes and a suitable site is found, the Neighbourhood Plan could decide what the dwellings should look like, i.e. in keeping with the surrounding area, and request that the developer undertakes local road improvements, such as traffic calming engineering works.

Fairfield Village Community Association encourages all residents to engage with consultations; details can be obtained on the District Council website and (hopefully) in local newspapers.  When FVCA are aware of further information, we will also share, with notices on the Village website, social media feed and (if possible) newsletter.

We hope the above summary is of help – in no way taking sides.  FVCA’s slogan is Your Home – Your Village – Your Community, so when the next District Council consultation is launched, have your say on shaping where you live, what you want from your community and the future requirements for you and your family. t 5;\lsdp