#STOP THE GARDEN CITY
The trouble with bad plans is that some idiots just keep regurgitating them every few years in the hope that no one will notice. 🙄
Let’s get straight to it, “The Black Country Plan” is SHIT! Why? Because it along with all the others that preceeded it and will succeed it are based on what I term “The political-construction industry complex”. This is similar to the military-industrial complex whereby the military of a country forms a symbiotic relationship with the defence industry that supplies it for mutual benefit. Policy is therefore developed to accomplish this mutual benefit.
Indeed it is this “political-construction industry complex” that is the reason for perceived corruption between the political class and property developers, and terms such as “developer’s charter” being accurately used. Many politicians own multiple properties or are involved in the construction industry, housing associations or are private landlords. Their friends, relations and cronies are of course another matter, and that is before you get on to transport infrastructure and the likes of H$2. It is no surprise therefore to find party political donors are also in the construction and property development game, and cheap public authority land sales have been notoriously observed in this part of the world to said agents.
The Government’s white paper on planning reform was another step on this crooked ladder. In The Black Country, we should not be regarded as a “growth area” for housing developers to continue to prosper. Sandwell is swamped with housing and inhabited areas already.
Sandwell is the most densely populated black country borough with 36 people per hectare compared with the West Midlands and national average of just 4.
There has been widespread condemnation about the manner in which this oppressive “plan” has been written and presented by Dudley Council, acting on behalf of the 4 local authorities, and that criticism is entirely justified, as it does not seek to gather the views of real local people.
The site allocations in this document are the only matter that most are interested in, and not the dogmatic policy waffle which fills out this report. A simpler comment on the call for sites and site allocations should have been promoted, and this would have generated more responses. As it is, it is quite apparent that the majority of responses that will be received will be from green belt land bankers and their stooges, promoted by certain politicians who have already made themselves known with their “save the green belt” campaigns. Meanwhile, the urban areas are targeted by developers, and this green space is usurped as “brownfield” , yet it has the same potential for wildlife rehabilitation as any “greenbelt” land through the process of rewilding.
The principle thrust of my objection to this plan are the unsustainable housing allocations centred in the Lower Tividale area, (I have already mentioned those next to The Gower tip), and in particular on an area of green space linked to Sheepwash Nature Reserve which is part of the wider canal corridor. Together, this adds up to 607 new homes in an area less than a mile square, on an already saturated housing estate built on former agricultural land and then disgustingly, demolition waste tips.
It is also of course right next to Rattlechain lagoon itself.
I attended the site allocations delivery plan inquiry in 2011, from which this plan follows on from the so called “black country core strategy”, and what is clear from this is that the inspector and Sandwell council were grossly misled by those promoting this site and their agents in that this piece of land would be deliverable within the period of the plan- i.e by 2021- NOW. WELL WE CAN SEE WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS THAT WAS CAN’T WE! 😛
In that scheme, around 257 houses were provided, and now 322 are proposed in the same area of land, as well as an even greedier idea to take up a wedge along the river as well to cram in another 32. Also note the statement about engaging with other land owners- ie Rhodia Solvay.
I drew out Rhodia at the time following this enquiry ten years ago where it became clear that they were not intending to sell off the site to use as a convenient waste toilet for the over tipped foundry sand by the company that had tipped it there for their profit. They and their consultants did not believe it to be technically feasible, as the infamous Cremer and Warner report of 1991 also stated.
I have also previously outlined the so called “Dudley port Supplementary planning document” in 2017. Around 400 local residents and users of Sheepwash Nature Reserve signed a petition which was handed in to Sandwell Council at the time, but they stated that it would be more appropriate to be considered at the time when the allocations came up for review- which is of course now. I will therefore be resubmitting this petition with objections to the scheme.
“Masterplanning” is a trite overused local authority phrase which also spells out B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S. “Visions” and the plethora of adjectives to describe what life will be like in 10 years time are the other nonsense that is trotted out every ten years. It always reads the same, it never materialises therefore.
There is no way that the wastes on this site are compatible with filling in Rattlechain lagoon, and do realise that to remove such quantities of foundry sand off site will once again blacken homes, soil cars and windows and cause health issues of asthma. The “misery” of the ten year tipping operation that supposedly was to take two has been documented HERE. We cannot and should not accept a return to this absolute fucking planning farce again.
The collators of this plan have not made it easy for you to respond, quite deliberately.
A form is available (is it) from local libraries and council offices if you can find them open. Of course it is also online, though wading through the pages is very difficult to navigate unless you have several days on your hands.
Download the PDF comment form below for explanation.
State that you OBJECT to housing allocations SAH088 AND SAH098 as unsustainable and undeliverable.
It would also be helpful if you complete another of these forms in SUPPORT of The Black Country Local Nature Recovery Opportunity Map (draft April 2021), which is right at the end of the oppressive document plan. We can therefore see here how the planners and local elected regard such schemes in their developer’s charter. You will note that part of this area is one covering the joke housing allocations , which puts it directly at odds with this.
This consultation ends at 5pm on Monday 11th October 2021.
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO OTHERS, AS WHEN YOU LOOK OUT OF YOUR WINDOW, YOU MAY NOT LIKE WHAT YOU FIND.