A government U-turn is raising hopes that the green belt across Bromsgrove is safer than it was from bulldozers and concrete layers.

But a local councillor leading a campaign to stop a ‘dash for homes’ across the district says he isn’t convinced yet.

There had been fears that a government plan to target more than 300,000 new homes to ease the country’s housing shortage would be at the cost of land surrounding villages like Barnt Green, Alvechurch and Hagley.

There were particular worries that Bromsgrove district could be asked to accommodate Birmingham and Black County ‘overspill.’

The government had put forward a new formula for where houses could be built, but critics argued their ‘mutant algorithm’ would see swathes of countryside concreted over, especially in the south of England.

The plans sparked a ‘Shire Tories’ rebellion and has seen the government back down and agree to reconsider the formula.

But Bromsgrove District’s leader of independent councillors, who has been campaigning to save the green belt, is far from willing to claim victory.

“I am still worried. Until we know the outcome of their reconsideration we don’t know what position the government will take,” said Councillor Steve Colella.

“There have ben comings and goings and we don’t know who was driving the policy.

“Until we have a firm announcement I will be on my guard.

“I’m fearful they will still be striving for their development target and the construction industry is powerful.

“The Tory politicians in Bromsgrove have been supporting these measures, so it’s a case of wait and see.”

Independent councillors in many areas of Bromsgrove have been holding meetings locally to try to come up with local housing plans which they want to be based on local need, more sustainable and empathetic.