Developer Bloor Homes has pledged to “fully engage with” the people of Northfield over plans to build homes on North Worcestershire Golf Club and said it “values their views”.
The pledge was backed by an announcement for a two-day drop-in consultation this week outlining plans to build 800 homes on the century-old golf club in Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield.
The consultation comes in the wake of an attack by Longbridge Labour councillor Andy Cartwright over the developer’s “no-show” at a recent ward committee meeting to discuss the scheme.
Councillor Cartwright criticised the developer after it agreed to attend but pulled out just two hours before the meeting.
It sparked a war of words, with Coun Cartwright claiming Bloor Homes said they would not be there to take questions amid concerns the meeting would be “a cattle market”, though the developer has strongly denied the claims.
Bloor Homes’ consultation at Hollymoor Community Centre continues this weekend and will be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday July 12.
Land director of Bloor Homes, Duncan Mackay, said: “It has always been our intention to fully engage with and involve local people in the process when the time was right and, despite what might have been reported, we genuinely seek and value their views.”
Mr Mackay said if the development goes ahead some of the golf club land will benefit the community.
He said: “Currently the only people who can use this land are the club members and their guests.
“A significant proportion of the land will be made available for public use and we would very much like local people to have a say on what should be included.
“It may be that they want to enjoy a mix of formal sports facilities, children’s play spaces or open recreation areas, possibly a fitness trail, cycleways and footpaths or even some combination of these.
“I would urge residents to keep an open mind, come and view the proposals and let us know what they would like to see.”
Bloor Homes says comments gathered will be used to help produce a masterplan for the site that will be displayed at a further consultation later in the year, prior to an outline planning application being submitted.
The developer said it also intends to set up a working group with councillors and local representatives.
First announced in February, the agreement by the golf club to sell the 80-acre site to Bloor Homes sparked fury among neighbours. They claim the club reneged on a pledge not to sell out despite numerous previous offers.
In April last year the club, which was founded in 1907, announced it had turned down offers to buy it, despite being approached by several firms keen on turning it into a housing estate.
The proposals come after adult male membership at the club fell from more than 400 in 2005 to 276 last year.
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