Controversial proposals to sell off recreational land to finance a new sports centre in Solihull are set to be rubber-stamped.
Solihull Council is to give the go-ahead at a meeting tomorrow for outline planning permission to develop a fouracre site opposite Monkspath Hall Road car park, despite local residents' protests that the land is part of Tudor Grange Park.
If the application, which has been submitted by the council to its planning committee, is approved, it will pave the way for the local authority to sell the site.
The sale, combined with further funds raised through a Section 106 agreement, will help to finance £16 million sports facilities on the site of the dilapidated Tudor Grange Sports Centre.
Money will also go towards developments on the park, which could include a new amphitheatre, ornamental gardens and outdoor tennis facilities.
The council is being recommended to grant itself planning permission for a residential development, or residential development with care home provision. At the same meeting, the park improvements and the sports centre will also be considered.
The Conservative- led council said it was left with no alternative but to sell the land last December after it identified a £7 million funding gap with its lease payments on the new sports centre.
However, local Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt, said the council could find other ways of raising the cash. Ms Burt said: "Central government has placed on Solihull MBC a requirement to reduce expenditure by two per cent per annum for the next three years.
"Chief executive Katherine Kerswell has said that she can achieve better savings than this. If Ms Kerswell can find the money needed from savings, plus two per cent, why do we need to lose this green open space?
"I would remind the committee that in recent years over 14,000 local residents have registered their objection to the selling of this land."
The sports centre plan includes four badminton courts, a dance studio, a health and fitness centre, and three swimming pools.
One of the swimming pools would include a floor which could be lowered for disabled people. Divers would also be able to use the high-tech pool.
The centre would be built on a site located between the existing Tudor Grange Sports Centre and the run-down Norman Green Sports Centre.
Residents are currently being consulted on their favoured plans for the park.