Dear Editor, The influence that big developers like St Modwen can exert over local councils is proving a disaster for our green environment.
The claim that St Modwen are practitioners of sustainable development on brown field sites (previously developed) is now being shown to be a sham.
Using the recession as an excuse it appears that Birmingham’s Tory/Lib Dem Coalition will agree to St Modwen no longer funding the sustainable elements of their development plan for Longbridge.
It appears that, amongst other things, either a much-heralded new public transport system will be totally sacrificed or that a debt-ridden City Council will pay for it instead.
Our local political parties and their public servants should know not to put their trust in the likes of St Modwen.
Local people have long memories. They remember that back in 2000 the Labour-controlled Birmingham Council were persuaded by St Modwen to a do U-turn and agree to sell and swop their much treasured green space at Quinton Meadows in the Woodgate Valley Green Wedge.
One condition for this Business Park development was the provision of public transport on the Quinton Expressway so that a local workforce could easily access the Business Park. Nine years later we have an expensively maintained bus bhelter but no bus route!
Most recently the Tory-led Dudley Council have been persuaded by St Modwen to agree to an unsustainable development on Halesowen’s Coombes Wood Green Wedge, instead of carrying out their declared public green space policy.
It appears that we live in an era where improvements in our schools and sports facilities can only be achieved at the cost of destroying public green space landscape, wildlife and healthy outdoor recreational pursuits such as walking. It is ironic that the justification for building on Quinton Meadows, and thereby losing historic landscape and recreational facilities was the so -called proximity of the Coombes Wood Wedge.
Sustainabilty and Climate Change Spokesperson
Birmingham Green Party