Birmingham City Council is on the lookout for a consultant to draw up a masterplan for the development of 6,000 homes on Sutton Coldfield's green belt.
The council has dubbed the project the 'Langley Sustainable Urban Extension' and is seeking tenders from companies which can deliver a viable development plan for the 273-hectare site.
The land, next to the A38 in Walmley, has been controversially earmarked for future development by the city council despite vehement protests from residents.
Council planners claim they have run out of space to meet the expected city-wide demand for 84,000 houses over the next 20 years and need to release green belt land under the new Birmingham Development Plan.
A tender for the Langley SUE calls for the production of a viable masterplan, development delivery plan and supporting documents to demonstrate how the extension can be delivered and guide decisions on future planning applications.
Plans for the new estate must include a secondary and two primary schools, a health centre, open space and transport network links.
A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: "We are currently working with Savills, which is representing the landowner and developer consortium, to ensure that, should the Langley residential proposal be supported through the Birmingham Development Plan process, a masterplan is prepared to ensure a high quality scheme which will make the most effective and sustainable use of this green belt site."
The city council, under pressure to identify space for the 84,000 homes, says it only has brownfield sites within the city's existing urban area for about 46,000 homes.
It has requested neighbouring authorities in Worcestershire and the Black Country accommodate some of the shortfall.
However, it had still found itself stuck between campaigners in Sutton Coldfield, who want the green belt protected, and developers lobbying for much larger swathes of land to be opened up - including further sites at Four Oaks.
A detailed and sustainable masterplan will improve the council's chances of securing the approval of the planning inspector later this year when the Birmingham Development Plan is considered.
The council also proposes releasing a plot of green belt land at Peddimore for a large scale industrial development to create jobs for the city's expanding population.
Neil Nickolds on his Sutton Coldfield Rural blog said: "From the council's point of view, devising a masterplan is a sensible approach. During the recent consultation, developers were lobbying the city council en mass for further green belt to be released to enable up to 10,000 houses.
"The same pack of developers who have land interests on the other green belt sites at Four Oaks and Trinity will have or will be working away on their own masterplans to get the council's strategy thrown out on poor sustainability grounds."
But he added: "It is business as usual as far as residents and campaigners are concerned and we will continue to press for zero development on the green belt."
He said there was more housing capacity in the wider region, approximately 33,000 homes, and believed this green belt development was unnecessary.
Campaigners have also called for a pledge that no green belt land would be released until all the brownfield urban sites have been properly developed.
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