A controversial and long-running plan to build new houses on a former playing fields in Birmingham is finally set to win the city's backing.

Housebuilder Redrow has been eyeing the former Ravenhurst Playing Fields, in Harborne, for several years but has been continually forced back to the drawing amid protests over the loss of public open space.

The North Wales firm, which is owned by Wolverhampton Wanderers chairman Steve Morgan, lodged plans in 2014 to build 121 houses, subsequently scaled back to 103 a few months later and then dramatically reduced again last summer to 73.

This third application was due to be debated by Birmingham City Council's planning committee in February only for it be withdrawn after officers had recommended it be rejected.

Redrow has again revised the plans and come back with a project of 63 houses, ranging from two to five bedrooms, for the 11-acre site between Knightlow Road and Gilhurst Road.

The principal concern among officers, and also campaign group Friends of Ravenhurst Playing Fields, was the loss of open recreation space and insufficient compensation for that loss in any new development.

This latest incarnation of the application has sought to address this by including 5.2 acres of public open space - up from 3.4 acres - with Redrow also set to fund the delivery of off-site sports improvement measures.

Offices have recommended that councillors approve this latest application when the city council's planning committee meets next Thursday.

Developers have been eyeing the site for more than a decade and Wimpey was behind a previous scheme.

Since 1993, Ravenhurst Playing Fields have been owned by the Oratory, the Catholic church in Edgbaston, which previously said it needed to raise funds from the land sale to continue its charitable work.

Former Ravenhurst Playing Fields in Harborne
Former Ravenhurst Playing Fields in Harborne