FURIOUS Wyre Forest Labour members have branded the council’s long term housing plans a “sham” due to a lack of affordable options for residents.

Wyre Forest District Council has unveiled the latest version of its Local Plan, which sets out how the area will be shaped up to 2036, including proposals that would see more than 5,500 homes.

But Labour’s Stephen Brown said the decision to cut the requirement of affordable housing from 30 per cent to 25 per cent in developments of 10 homes would fail to help the 3,500 people on the housing waiting list.

He added that the Conservative-run council should be focusing on affordable social homes on brownfield sites, arguing it would help boost the economy and avoid the loss of green belt land that is currently proposed in the plan.

He said: “This is more like a Local Sham than a local plan. The Tories might as well be handing out tents and sleeping bags right now to residents who already can't afford a roof over their heads, because that’s going to be the end result of this barmy proposal.

“People are crying out for an affordable home of their own all the Tories can do is make things even harder and rip up green belt land.

“They even plan to build a whole village without enough affordable homes.

“Our population here is fairly static, there are older people in need of more appropriate housing that if available could free up housing for others down the line.

“The Tories will just be creating expensive green belt commuter homes for Birmingham to line the pockets of rich developers, with no economic benefit to the district’s economy. It’s a farce.”

He added the party will be meeting with experts to discuss alternative community housing where residents set up a trust and are involved in designing homes to suit their needs.

Wyre Forest Labour secretary Ben Davies, who campaigned to stop development on green belt land in Spennells, said: “As a young person living and working in low wage Wyre Forest, I'm acutely aware of the need for affordable homes.

“What should be being built is affordable social rent housing so that everyone can have a secure place to live in the heart of their community.”

Council leader Marcus Hart said: “The affordable housing is proposed to be a minimum of 25 per cent as opposed to the current policy of up to 30 per cent and that is what we are currently consulting on.

“The figure is based on independent expert advice on land values and viability. It is important we have a realistic and achievable figure.”