ANGRY residents turned out in force to voice their opposition to plans to turn Amblecote’s last haven for wildlife into a new housing estate with 136 homes.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust is proposing to sell off land at the back of Corbett Outpatient Centre in Vicarage Road, which is currently used for grazing, to Essex based developers Countryside Properties.

Plans for two, three and four-bedroom homes have been worked up and members of the public were yesterday (Monday) given the chance to see for themselves how the new housing development could look before a planning application is submitted.

Residents, however, have given the scheme the thumbs down and more than 700 people have signed a petition objecting to the proposed development.

Countryside Properties say they ‘create communities people want to be part of’ and their homes are “built to exceptional standards with a focus on energy efficiency and green living, making people’s lives and the environment a better place to be”.

Amblecote councillor Julia Baines, however, said: “I’ve not heard anybody interested in any kind of development. "Local residents are universally against it.”

The Labour councillor added: “We’re cross party against this.”

Stourbridge animal rights campaigner Ellen Cobb, the Labour Party’s local council candidate for Amblecote, said the land is an ancient meadow – home to badgers, bats and other wildlife and she added: “It’s a really important place for local residents. I just don’t think the roads are going to cope and I don’t think there will be any school places for the people who would live in these houses.”

Meanwhile - Tory candidate for Amblecote, Kyle Pedley, who grew up on the Trinity Road estate near to the beauty spot, started an online petition on last week and it has already been signed by more than 700 people keen to oppose the scheme to develop the land which was bought by ‘salt king’ John Corbett for the creation of a hospital in 1892. It was later acquired by the NHS in 1948.

Many residents have fond memories of community fetes and gymkhanas held on the land which has been used for the grazing of horses and cattle for the last 39 years.

Collis Street resident Douglas Craig, who moved to the area in 1938, said: “It’s been a green space ever since I can remember. I don’t approve of the plan at all. I think they’re going to have a lot of people protesting.”

Helen Cook, of Amblecote History Society, branded the development plans “ludicrous” and she said people living nearby were “very, very angry” at the thought the meadow could be lost to new homes.

She added: “To sell this meadow, this rare parcel of ancient grassland, would be nothing short of criminal.”

Sue Helm, of John Corbett Drive, added: “I just think the area should be protected for wildlife, there’s so much wildlife there – bats, buzzards, green woodpeckers. It’s just a lovely green space – it’s important to keep it, it’s good for people’s mental well-being.”

The developers have said all capital paid for the five-hectare site would be put back into local NHS services and hospital bosses from the Dudley Group, who did not attend the public event on Monday, have stressed the plan would be to spend the money made “on crucial medical equipment”.

A previous campaign for housing on the site was rejected in 1992 and campaigners have vowed to see this fresh bid off too.

They are now inviting anyone concerned about the impact of the proposed development to attend a public meeting at Stourbridge Football Club on Wednesday November 27, from 7pm to 9pm.

Anyone who was unable to attend the exhibition can view the plans online at

Comments about the proposal can be emailed to or sent in the post to Ridge LLP, Thornbury House, 18 High Street, Cheltenham GL50 1DZ.

The deadline for submissions is November 18.