Challenging The Growth Agenda

The Birmingham Post on-line, on Saturday, covered my challenge to the growth agenda in Birmingham – made at Birmingham Council’s Co-ordinating Overview and Scrutiny Committee last Friday.

It was the previous Labour Government, supported almost always by our Labour MP of course – who is not nearly so “independent thinking” as she would like constituents to believe (just look at her voting record if you don’t believe me) – who insisted that Birmingham must find room for 50,000 more homes before 2026 and should find room for them by “infill in the city” if necessary.

The new Conservative led Coalition Government has torn up Labour’s Regional Spacial Strategies and declared war on so called “garden grabbing”. I question therefore whether Birmingham should still be committed to its growth agenda.

Residents don’t want more houses crammed on every little bit of green space. When large sites (such as the Selly Oak hospital site) become vacant (as it will in the coming years when the move to the new QE is complete) then of course there is a large space on which to build extra houses.

But that’s very different, from continually squeezing in extra houses and blocks of flats in leafy gardens or in totally unsuitable places such as on communal land on the historic Moorpool Estate.

It was Labour who told us to squeeze in 50,000 extra homes. They are not the Government any more, and I see no reason why Birmingham City Council should continue to dance to their tune.

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