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Bloor Homes says 'no reason' why city will not back Longbridge housing project

Developer planning to transform south Birmingham golf club into massive estate is confident of winning approval despite earlier claims it would not be allowed

The developer behind a controversial plan to build up to 1,000 homes on a former golf course says there is "no reason" why the project cannot win the city's backing.

Bloor Homes is eyeing the former North Worcestershire Golf Club in Longbridge for a new housing estate after the club closed down in March following years of dwindling membership.

Land director Duncan Mackay told the Post he was confident of winning planning approval despite fears over traffic congestion in an area of Birmingham already plagued by jams because of the long-running project to create a new Longbridge town centre following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.

Additionally, the city council's planning and regeneration director Waheed Nazir said in February the site had not been designated for housing in the Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) which was later approved by a government inspector in April.

As a consequence, Mr Nazir said it was unlikely the inspector would release the land for development, meaning Bloor Homes would need to make a very strong case to receive planning approval and show how its project adhered to policies in the BDP.

Mr Mackay said: "The planning application for redevelopment of North Worcestershire Golf club was submitted following significant public consultation.

"This found there was a balance of views both for and against our proposals.

"While the site was not allocated in the emerging BDP, the only reason the inspector did not include it was in the absence of detailed analysis of the impact of traffic on the local road network or on local residents' amenity.

North Worcestershire Golf Club closed down earlier this year

"This work has now been completed and therefore there is no reason why the application could not be determined positively. Birmingham City Council has a significant housing need which it can't meet.

"This is a sustainable development site which would make a significant contribution to the delivery of new homes on a highly deliverable site, within the urban area with excellent access to schools, employment and local infrastructure taking pressure off the need to deliver on green belt land."

The comments from Bloor Homes come as the company lodges an outline planning application with Birmingham City Council for the project.

In addition to up to 1,000 new houses, the project will also contain public open space, a primary school, multi-use community centre and new access roads onto the 80-acre site.

For several years, North Worcestershire Golf Club rebuffed approaches from housing developers but there was a change of heart two years ago, prompted by falling membership and rising costs.

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