It is clear that with a growing population that there is a need for new houses to be built. The harder question is to decide where those new houses should be built. There is always the danger of being a nimby (not in my back yard) when it comes to such matters, but with Birmingham City Council proposing to build 6,000 new homes on Greenbelt land around Sutton Coldfield, is this the right solution to the problem?
There is evidence that green space within urban and residential areas has health benefits as well as providing a pleasant surroundings and the potential to connect people with nature. Having taught environmental education to children in deprived, multicultural West London for the conservation charity A Rocha UK, there was both a joy in seeing children being excited about what they discovered living in their local country park or on the canal bank, but there was also a sadness that for many this was the first time they had seen a heron, or coot chick.
Our green spaces, whether within residential areas or greenbelt land are important to us for our holistic well being; as well as for future generations. Whether this particular development in Sutton Coldfield is right or not, it is important for local residents to have their say on the matter. The recent Labour leadership election shows the importance of people power and the need for all of us to engage with issues that are important to us and our local communities.
The deadline for comments on Birmingham City Councils proposals is 12th October 2015. You can find a link to the proposals here and the comments form here. Project fields have done a short summary of reasons why you may want to object, which can be found here. But whatever you think, have your say, the democratic process is there to be used and whatever decision is finally reached, it will impact our community for many years to come.