PLANS to build 84 new homes on last parcel of untouched land in Amblecote have now been officially submitted to Dudley’s planners.

Charles Church, part of the Persimmon Group, has lodged a planning application seeking permission to develop Corbett Meadow at the rear of Corbett Outpatients Centre into a new housing estate and public park.

Stourbridge News: Corbett Meadow from the air. Pic - courtesy of Wayne LewisCorbett Meadow from the air. Pic - courtesy of Wayne Lewis

Campaigners have been dreading the possibility of development on the ancient meadowland, formerly part of The Hill estate, which is an oasis for wildlife.

Stourbridge News: Corbett Meadow is currently used for grazingCorbett Meadow is currently used for grazing

The Corbet Meadow Action Group has called for the plan to be shelved and for the land off Vicarage Road to be used to benefit people’s health as John Corbett intended when he left the site to the people of Stourbridge.

The group has outlined ideas for the creation of an eco-friendly wellbeing centre that would lead on green prescribing.

However, the plea to the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the land, has fallen on deaf ears and a planning application has now been lodged with Dudley Council’s planning department.

A design and access statement submitted to planners says: “The proposed development has the potential to deliver new homes within the urban area of Dudley, whilst also contributing to the provision of publicly accessible open space.”

Stourbridge News: Artist's impression of the proposed development. Pic - Charles ChurchArtist's impression of the proposed development. Pic - Charles Church

The document, prepared by Armstrong Burton Architects on behalf of Charles Church, says the plan would deliver much-needed housing and provide public access to the site which is currently used for grazing.

It states: “The development will provide publicly accessible open space on the best areas of grassland, whilst retaining trees and the ponds on site, seeking to retain the best areas of species rich grassland for the local community as well as future residents.”

It says the proposal would provide a range of family homes, 25 per cent of which would be affordable housing, with priority for properties given to keyworkers.

The development would be known as Amblecote Grange and would comprise a mix of two, three, four and some five-bedroom homes, with parking spaces, designed to suit a mix of young professionals, first time buyers, families and downsizers.

There would also be a village square, an informal play space, an orchard and a main lime tree lined access road reflective of the Victorian era.

The design and access statement says a “well-connected network of streets and paths are proposed” - with connections to existing residential estates and green spaces - and it adds: “The benefits arising from this development outweigh the impact on the local landscape and reduced area of farmland, contributing instead to the Black Country’s strategy of housing delivery through sustainable development.”

A planning statement adds: “Financial investment into the NHS will arise as a result of the sale of the site, which represents a social and economic benefit arising from the development, whilst the development will also support a significant number of jobs during the construction phase.”

A spokesperson for The Corbett Meadow Action Group, which recently held a public to outline its alternative proposal for a wellbeing centre on the site, has promised to arrange a further public meeting to discuss next steps.

Stourbridge News: How the meadow could look with an eco-friendly wellbeing centre on the site. Pic - Corbett Meadow Action GroupHow the meadow could look with an eco-friendly wellbeing centre on the site. Pic - Corbett Meadow Action Group

A spokesperson for the group said: “We will fight this planning application. “With all our local supporters we will fight it hard.”

People can submit their views on the application via Dudley Council’s planning portal (search application number P22/1050).