A NEW ‘garden town’ consisting of 10,000 to 15,000 homes has been suggested for development on green belt land between Alvechurch and Barnt Green.

The disclosures appear in a new report titled ‘A Strategic Growth Study into the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Area’, which seeks to address a housing shortfall in the West Midlands.

Commissioned by Bromsgrove District Council and 13 other local authorities, London consultants GL Hearn – who independently produced the report – identified 24 areas for development in the region.

Green belt land between Alvechurch and Barnt Green is one of 10 listed for new settlements, and one of four under ‘further analysis’.

Local councillors oppose the idea, fearing such a plan would not only encroach on the green belt, but add strain to GPs, schools, and employment.

Alvechurch Village Independent cllr Kate van der Plank believes it would be “disastrous” and “condemn future generations to major congestion, air pollution and no countryside”.

She added: “We have to think much more carefully and take a long-term view about the places we are creating for existing and future residents.”

A group of seven Independent councillors called for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the report, but the council said a motion won’t be debated until April 25.

Barnt Green and Hopwood Independent cllr Charles Hotham said the potential of a garden village was “the biggest issue to hit Bromsgrove in the last decade”.

He added: “It is disappointing that the council could not agree a meeting before this date.

“I am shocked and appalled by the suggestion that up to 15,000 houses should be dumped on Barnt Green and Alvechurch.

“The Hearn report clearly identifies that this would be on green belt land that is ranked as of the highest quality, why then even consider it?

“This isn’t for local need but Birmingham overspill.”

Hagley West cllr Steve Colella added: "The whole issue around Birmingham's and the Black Country's development strategy in terms of housing spread needs a fair and balanced debate.

"The term NIMBY is commonly thrown at anyone who actually believes if we don't look after our own 'back yard', then who will - obviously not our elected members of Parliament."

Council leader Conservative cllr Geoff Denaro said the council does not accept the findings, and insisted the report does not commit them to development.

He added: “The GL Hearn Study is only one piece of evidence amongst many.

“It cannot be stressed strongly enough the council has not accepted the findings of the study but is looking to the residents and other interested parties of Bromsgrove to help inform its view on the study through a full consultation on the issues and options which will be consulted on in June.

“The ‘Bromsgrove District Plan Review - Issues and Options’ report will include looking at the whole of the green belt and assessing the future development needs for the district.

“This process is to ensure that the GL Hearn study does not dictate the future of the district as is being suggested.

“The council is making sure we have a fully informed view, one which has been informed by local views of the people across Bromsgrove.”

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, who is also housing minister, declined to comment when approached by the Advertiser.