Fears for sports field af­ter six sites al­lo­cated for city hous­ing

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Carl Jack­son Coun­cil Cor­re­spon­dent

SIX sites in­clud­ing a for­mer school, car park and play­ing field have been ear­marked for po­ten­tial hous­ing de­vel­op­ments in a bid to help meet Birm­ing­ham’s huge short­fall.

The 15.6 acres worth of land, which have a to­tal mar­ket value of £9.5 mil­lion, have been iden­ti­fied for more than 250 new prop­er­ties.

But the po­ten­tial for sports fa­cil­i­ties to be lost has been de­scribed as “dread­ful” by one coun­cil­lor.

Two of the plots are in Shard End; the for­mer Hall­moor School site and a par­cel of land in Gres­sel Lane, not far from Tile Cross Academy.

Two fur­ther sites are in Spark­brook, a 3.5-acre strip south of High­gate Road sur­round­ing Karachi’s Kafe, and a 0.5-acre car park at Al­fred Road.

The fi­nal two plots are a 4.6-acre play­ing field on Long Nuke Road in Bart­ley Green, and ten­nis courts amount­ing to 0.9 acres be­hind the bowl­ing green in High­field Lane, Quin­ton.

But Cllr John Alden (Cons, Har­borne) crit­i­cised the in­clu­sion of the lat­ter two sites.

He said: “We are al­ways be­ing told to pro­vide more sports fa­cil­i­ties. There are I am sure brown­field sites in the city which would be much bet­ter to build on.

“We are sup­posed to be build­ing a bet­ter city but if we haven’t got sports fa­cil­i­ties and grounds we are not build­ing a bet­ter city we are build­ing a more con­gested one.

“I don’t deny we need more qual­ity houses in Birm­ing­ham but build­ing on sports land is dread­ful.”

Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil’s cab­i­net agreed for the plots to be shifted to the author­ity’s Hous­ing Rev­enue Ac­count.

They could ac­com­mo­date up to 259 new prop­er­ties, 168 of which would be al­lo­cated for so­cial rent while the re­main­ing 91 would be put on the mar­ket.

It is es­ti­mated around 89,000 new homes need to be built in the city by 2031 in­clud­ing 38,000 af­ford­able homes.

Hous­ing chief Cllr Peter Grif­fiths (Lab, Kings Nor­ton) de­scribed the plots as ‘un­der-utilised’ sites adding that any de­tailed pro­pos­als would have to be sub­ject to a public con­sul­ta­tion and ap­proved by the coun­cil’s plan­ning de­part­ment.

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