COUNCIL chiefs in Wyre Forest have revealed they are reluctantly having to consult on redeveloping green belt land for housing as they say there are not enough brown field sites in the district.

Wyre Forest District Council is consulting on its draft Local Plan Preferred Options Document which sets out proposals for future development over the next two decades.

While the plans have drawn fierce criticism from residents worried about the loss of fields, the council says the amount of brown field and derelict buildings available will not cover demand up to 2034.

Leader Marcus Hart said: “I am very grateful for the engagement of local residents. These types of consultation are never easy when any potential decision taken is going to affect local residents.

“We are having to consult on development on some green belt land this time as we simply do not have enough brown field land to cope with our demand up to 2034.

“I would reassure all residents that we remain committed to regenerating our town centres and working with landowners to bring forward schemes that allow redundant shops to be reused.

“Rest assured we will be ensuring that all brown field land offered up as part of the consultation will be developed upon.”

He added: “As councillors and a Council we too care passionately about our district, its towns and rural communities and we have a common goal to ensure that we make the best possible plans and provision for our children and grandchildren.

“No one wants to see greenbelt land lost if it can be helped but what we cannot have and residents would not thank us for is ‘planning by appeal’ where developers simply seek permission to develop on green belt land which we are not able to resist if we do not have a readily available five year land supply.”

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration Ian Hardiman said: “I would like to thank all local residents for taking the time to engage in our Local Plan consultation. The eight drop in sessions held across the district was a great opportunity to talk to local residents face to face to hear their views. We had approximately 1800 residents attending.

“We have been very successful in developing on brown field sites, the former British Sugar site now called Silverwoods is a shining example of that. However, with more growth there is a greater demand on services, but that is the case wherever the growth goes within the district.”

He added: “There are just a few days left so if you have not responded already then please do so before the deadline of Monday, 14th August, 2017 at 5pm.”

The email address for submissions is or write to Planning Policy Team, Wyre Forest District Council, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, DY11 7WF.