HUNDREDS of Kinver residents attended a drop-in session to have their say on plans to build 90 new homes in the area.
To cope with increasing demand for housing over the next 15 years, South Staffordshire Council has identified seven possible sites for development, on greenbelt land near Hyde Lane, Dunsley Drive, White Hill and Comber Road.
A consultation event was held at the Constitutional Club on Monday, to explain the process and answer questions from residents, who were able to state their preferences for the type of housing and location in the village.
The exhibition attracted 400 people but concerned resident, Bob Clarke described it as a "shambles" and added: “There was virtually no information volunteered. It was just about the most appalling public relations exercise anyone could undertake. It was disgraceful.
"There was only one person from South Staffordshire Council that even bothered to put an ID badge on."
Mr Clarke said he had heard rumours that the site at the side of White Hill, backing onto Jenks Avenue, had already been deemed the preferred choice by the council.
He added: “There’s quite a lot of opposition to it. It will generate a lot of extra traffic to an extremely busy road at the junction of Potters Cross."
Jenks Avenue resident, Claire Read, strongly objects to the land being used for development as it is directly at the back of her home and she is worried it would decrease the value of her property.
Mrs Read said the field was also populated by a variety of wildlife and added: "Personally I think Hyde Lane would be more suitable. Where we are, there are quite a lot of properties, it's like they want to condense all the properties into one area.
"In order to get out from that site, they will need to go through the school areas in the morning whereas if they came from Hyde Lane, it would be more accessible."
The consultation process has also caused friction amongst villagers, according to Mrs Read, who added: "Everyone has different opinions, nobody wants it on their doorstep and everyone is arguing against each other. It's horrible, that is not how a village is supposed to be."
Councillor Bob McCardle, cabinet member for strategic services said: "We had over 400 people at the Kinver exhibition to express their views, the majority of whom were happy to engage constructively in the consultation process.
"There were six officers from the council on hand to answer people’s questions, all of whom were easily identifiable by ID badges.
"There was extensive information available at the exhibition and we have also made information available on all sites across the district available on the council’s website, at parish council offices, libraries and leisure centres across the district."
Cllr McCardle also quashed rumours that a site had already been chosen and said: “Absolutely no decisions have been made on any site included as part of the site allocations process.
"We are still undertaking an extensive consultation with local people on potential sites across the district."
He continued: "Once suitable sites are identified, there will be a further consultation before any final decision is taken, and even then any proposed development will be subject to normal planning procedures.”
For more information about the consultation, visit www.sstaffs.gov.uk/siteallocations.