A PETITION showing the strength of feeling about any bid to build hundreds of new homes on Stourbridge green belt land has been handed over to South Staffordshire District Council’s leader.

More than 2,000 people signed the petition which was started amid fears countryside off Clent View Road could be given over for up to 400 new homes to help meet Dudley and South Staffordshire’s housing needs.

Green Party campaigner Mark Binnersley started the petition to send a message to Dudley and South Staffordshire councils, developers and landowners that Norton residents will do all they can to save their green belt amid news that Taylor Wimpey has been eyeing up fields in the area for a new housing estate.

Worried residents flocked to put their names to the petition as South Staffordshire Council consulted on the second stage of its Local Plan which looks at broad locations for future housing growth.

The current phase of the consultation closed on December 12 and Mr Binnersley handed over the petition to the leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Brian Edwards MBE, at his home just before Christmas.

Mr Binnersley, who was accompanied by his children James and Eleanor to hand over the petition, is now planning to organise a walk in the area in the spring to keep people informed about the plans.

South Staffordshire Council needs to build 8,845 houses by 2037 but council bosses have stressed that no sites have yet been selected for development.

Specific sites will be consulted on in summer 2020 - although it is feared that land close to the western border of the Black Country is likely to be favourited for potential development.