Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Councillors have met with developers who propose to carry out the planned major development of Green Belt land at Langley in Sutton Coldfield.
The land at Langley is earmarked for residential development of up to about 6,000 new homes in Birmingham City Council plans which are currently out for consultation. Councillors met with developers last week (9th October) to ask detailed questions and seek reassurances about the proposed development and its impact on the town.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Ward commented: “We had a full and frank meeting in which we asked some very direct questions about how the proposed development would serve the interests of town residents now and in the future. Our concerns were in five broad areas:
- Transport – traffic movement and enhancing public transport are critical matters of concern for the Town Council. We are seeking assurances that new and improved road junctions will cater for the extra traffic generated as well as integrating with the new Sprint bus proposals aimed at achieving faster more reliable journey times. It was stressed that this design work should take into account the latest transport modelling work which the Town Council jointly funded with the City Council
- Education and health – many residents have spoken to us of their concerns that the current facilities will struggle to absorb so many new residents. We heard of plans for three new primary schools and a secondary school on the new development as well as additional GP facilities. Whilst these were welcomed we stressed the need in the shorter term to manage the increased demands and for linked investment in existing schools and secondary health care where appropriate.
- Design of the development – we expressed the desire for distinctive high-quality design and layout which reflects local characteristics and meet high standards of sustainability. The developers seemed to agree with us that more guidance was needed on the design approach and we look forward to further commenting upon this as it evolves.
- Community integration – questions were asked about the main community benefits arising from the scheme and how is it envisaged the development will become an integral part of the town rather than a large development simply bolted onto its edge. The need for high quality pedestrian, cycle and public transport links was emphasised and proposals to incorporate large areas of informal public open space and new playing pitches within the layout were welcomed.
- Housing – whilst the detailed housing mix in terms of house types and tenure has yet to be agreed we stressed that this should help meet Sutton Coldfield’s housing needs as well as those of the wider region.
“This was a very useful initial session with the developers which gave town councillors the opportunity to put a marker down and express their views together with those of local residents directly to them. Planning and design of the scheme is still in the very early stages and many questions remain to be answered as the proposals are worked up in more detail.
“The Town Council intends to be actively involved in promoting and defending the town’s interests through this process. As part of this we will also be commenting upon the Supplementary Planning Document for Langley recently published for consultation purposes by the City Council which is the subject of a report to Full Council next week.”