PLANS are afoot to give greater protection to the last remaining parcel of ancient meadowland in Amblecote which is under threat from development.

Following a detailed nature conservation habitat survey carried out by the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, Corbett Meadow is recommended to be upgraded from a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC) to a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), in recognition of its sub regional importance.

The site next to Corbett Outpatients Centre is a significant landscape feature with long-established pasture with mature trees, which supports important ecological features and a high diversity of habitats and species.

The site also has two ponds, one of which has significant ecological value.

If the recommendation is approved by Dudley Council’s cabinet on Thursday October 27, the site will be afforded greater protection by local planning policies, which could give it greater protection from development and maintain and enhance the borough’s environmental infrastructure and ecological habitats.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This is a popular green space and we want to be able to protect it now and into the future.

"An important and historic site in Stourbridge, the in-depth ecological surveys have highlighted its diverse, rich habitats, species and ecological features.

"By upgrading its status, we are looking to give it protection through our planning policy."

Campaigners hope the proposal willl help in their battle to preserve the meadow which developers Charles Church have set their sights on.

The housebuilder lodged a planning application in August to build 84 new homes on the site, off Vicarage Road, which is owned by the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and is currently used as grazing land.

The Corbett Meadow Action Group has strongly objected to the plan and called for the site to be used for an eco-friendly wellbeing centre.