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Golf club development will 'cause gridlock and pressure on schools'

Bloor Homes' plans for the North Worcestershire Golf Club come under fire ahead of public consultation event

North Worcestershire Golf Club will close in March to allow development by Bloor Homes

Councillors are warning the construction of 800 homes on a scenic Birmingham golf course will lead to traffic chaos and over-crowded schools unless action is taken.

The call comes as developer Bloor Homes prepares to unveil its plans for a major housing estate on the North Worcestershire Golf Club to the public.

But residents in Longbridge and Northfield, backed by local Labour and Conservative councillors, are worried about the impact on already congested local roads and local public services.

For several years, the club had rebuffed approaches from housing developers but there was a change of heart two years ago, prompted by falling membership and rising costs.

There were petitions and campaigns to keep the green space but it appears that battle is now over with planning of the development well under way and the golf club due to shut at the end of March.

The proposals will be on show at the Hollymoor Community Centre, between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday January 28.

The event will also give the public a chance to give feedback and raise concerns ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.

Local councillors said residents had been concerned about the scheme and filled any public meeting where it had been debated.

Coun Andy Cartwright (Lab Longbridge) said they were worried about the large-scale development and its impact on the community.

"The roads around here are absolutely grid locked most of the time," he said.

"We already have new housing planned for the Rover site and this will add even more cars.

"There are 800 homes, many have two cars, that's more than a thousand cars on Bristol Road, Grovelly Lane, Tessall Lane and Longbridge Lane - and they are already blocked."

Only last week, Coun Debbie Clancy (Con Northfield) handed in a petition to the council calling for action to deal with traffic on Bristol Road South.

Meanwhile, Coun Randal Brew (Con Northfield) warned a new school might be needed.

"This is going to go ahead so we have to get the best possible deal for the community. It is going to have a major impact on the area.

"We could have up to a thousand children moving in, that's enough for a new school. This needs to be addressed."

Bloor Homes' land director Duncan Mackay said: "Bloor Homes is still developing its proposals for the former North Worcestershire Golf Club.

"We have consulted with local residents and elected representatives and this consultation process is ongoing.

"We will be displaying our updated proposals at a public event and will welcome all views and comments received as a result."

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