RESIDENTS in Pedmore are gearing up for a fight to try to protect a slice of countryside near their homes after discovering it has been put forward as a possible development site for 85 to 100 new homes.

William Davis Homes has put together a vision document outlining a development plan to build on green belt land off Bromwich Lane, which backs onto Cherrington Gardens.

The 4.2-hectare field is currently used as a horse paddock but it has been put forward in a call to sites exercise being carried out by local councils as part of work to create a new Black Country Plan which will set out housing development sites of the future and which, if any, green belt land is to be released to accommodate new homes to meet the demand for housing.

A consultation on proposed sites is expected to take place in August/September this year.

The field is one of many green belt sites around Stourbridge that have been put forward as part of the call to sites exercise.

Residents living nearby have been writing to neighbours to make them aware of the potential threat of a new housing development and they have also written to Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb who told the News: "This land has been put forward for consideration as part of the Local Plan process across Dudley borough.

"This is the first part of a long process and exceptional circumstances will have to be proven before any land is removed from the green belt. I am therefore of the view this is purely speculative.

"Dudley borough has a clear brownfield first agenda and any green belt will be considered when all brownfield sites have been used up. My own position is also clear. I want to see brownfield development first too.

"The consultation on the Black Country Plan starts in August when all objections can be made to the land being included in the Local Plan and I urge all residents to take part in that consultation and make their views known."

Residents living in and around the Bromwich Lane site have already begun joining forces in anticipation of a fight to protect the land which developers say "is an entirely suitable development site in an accessible and unconstrained location".

In their Pedmore Vision Document for the site, which appears to date back to 2018, developers William Davis say: "Given that there is a clear case to allocate further development sites to meet the housing needs of the borough the site could and should be removed from the green belt and allocated for future residential development.

"The development would provide much-needed housing, including affordable housing, on a suitable site in a sustainable location, where residents will have access to a wide range of facilities, services and employment opportunities in Pedmore, and in Stourbridge, Dudley and Birmingham via the nearby train and bus services."

Pat Harris, however, who has lived in the area since 1952, said the field used to be farmed and development of it would "destroy all that is left here for nature to survive and for rescue horses to live".

Resident Miles Alden described the proposal for the site as "very poorly researched" – with "too many houses and inadequate parking" – and he added: "Bromwich Lane itself is very narrow, any widening would destroy hedges and trees. Our simple objection is this, the houses are unnecessary, they do not fulfil real social need. Once this land is built on its gone forever."

He is among locals who have formed a 'Keep Pedmore Green' group to try to get the word out about the plans for the site and others nearby that could be under threat and he said: "There is a huge amount of green belt land that has been put forward under this 'call for sites’ around Hagley, Pedmore, Norton and Wychbury."

Fields off Pedmore Lane, near Wychbury Hill, has also been listed in the 'call to sites' as a possible development site for up to 100 new homes.

The Three Fields off Dunsley Road, Stourbridge, has also been put forward – with Racecourse Lane, Norton, listed as a possible site for up to 500 homes.

Christine Farmer, of the Save Stourbridge Green Belt group, said: "We all appreciate the importance of providing new homes for everyone, and Dudley borough is fortunate in having a surplus of land available for its housing needs well into the future.

"However, our local green belt is being assessed for potential development as part of the necessary preparation of the Local Plan.

"Many of the sites that have been put forward are ones which local people use for recreation, including walking, cycling and horse riding. Access to green spaces is important for exercise and mental health, and has been shown to be of increased importance during lockdown.

"The green belt also contains important habitats such as veteran trees, hedgerows and woodland. In addition, right across Stourbridge's green belt are historically sensitive areas containing important archaeological remains which are crucial for our understanding of the early development of the area. The loss of any of the sites listed would be detrimental to Stourbridge, and would be felt strongly by local residents.

"I would urge local residents to check the 'call for sites' map to find out which areas have been put forward, and to make themselves aware of the process and timetable for the public consultation which will take place this summer.

"We have a wealth of information about the process on our website (, with links to maps and reports, as well as details of local campaign groups that are being set up to raise awareness and help respond to the consultation."

Campaign groups set up to date to help stave off the threat to the green belt include Save Clent View Road Fields, Save Racecourse Lane Fields and Friends of Wychbury Hill - all of which have Facebook pages.

A spokesperson for the Friends of Wychbury Hill, where local landmark the Wychbury obelisk stands, said anyone concerned about green belt sites under threat can get in touch for advice on how to campaign to preserve their much-loved countryside.