KINVER'S MP Gavin Williamson has expressed "grave concerns" about plans to develop farmland off White Hill and turn it into a new housing estate.

Trebor Developments have applied to South Staffordshire Council to build 40 new homes on the site which can be seen from beauty spot Kinver Edge.

But MP Mr Williamson has lodged concerns that it could pave the way for up to 144 new properties being built on the site and land next to it.

Objecting to the scheme, he said: "The village of Kinver is a beautiful and picturesque place to live, where many of the residents choose to enjoy the fantastic views and scenery that is on offer. This application would dismantle many of those views of the 'Staffordshire Way' walk, which is a popular amenity and would be totally lost under this application.

"There will be a variety of detrimental knock-on effects that would have a lasting impact on the village."

The Tory MP, who is the government's Education Secretary, expressed worries that development of the site would create extra traffic congestion at Potters Cross and said the proposed site has "considerable draining and sewage problems".

He said the village of Kinver has already exceeded its quota for new homes, set out in the 2019 Site Allocation Document, and he added: "Alongside the development in Hyde Lane, this proposal would have an enormous effect on local services.

"I would urge you to consider the points that I have raised around this application and I hope they will be taken on board by the planning committee."

Mr Williamson said he had been "inundated with letters and emails from concerned residents" opposed to the scheme.

More than 100 objections have now been submitted to the council.

Retired teacher David Hudson, of White Hill, is among villagers who are opposed to the development which he said "would represent a considerable encroachment upon the wooded slopes of Kinver Edge".

The Kinver Green Belt Action Group, which has submitted a detailed objection report, says the scheme should be refused as it 'will cause irreparable damage to the biodiversity of the site and will result in catastrophic habitat loss".

The report submitted by the group says: "There are no exceptional circumstances to justify the removal of the site from the green belt and alternative brownfield sites are available in South Staffordshire."

It says the suggested affordable housing for the site "does not provide any real access to affordable housing for local residents" and adds: "The village does not have the facilities or the infrastructure to support the level of proposed development."

The developers have said the scheme would "integrate well with the village, whilst contributing towards the identified need for new housing in the area" and the proposed development "respects the key views towards Kinver Edge and retains all of the significant mature trees on the site".

Mark Wright, of Trebor Developments, told the News this week: "Our plans have been revised following feedback to the application and, whilst it is an indicative scheme at this stage of an outline planning application – it is important to respond to these comments.

"Whilst the discussions with the planning department are ongoing, we hope the application will go to planning committee early in the new year.

"Even at this early stage, we have been most encouraged with significant numbers of local people taking the trouble to get in touch to express their interest in the development and wishing to register their details for new homes and bungalows.

"We do hope, therefore, that we can make positive progress with the planning application on this site, which is allocated in the Local Plan for new housing."

A spokesman for South Staffordshire Council said the application is set to go before the council's planning committee but not before the new year and she added: "There is no specific date at this time; the earliest would be January 26, 2021. A decision about whether it will go to the January committee or not will be made in early January.

"Comments should be made as soon as possible, but will be accepted up to and including the day of committee."