Up to 32 acres of ‘unwanted’ or ‘unused’ Birmingham parkland, playing fields or public open space could be sacrificed to make way for much-needed new housing.

Council officials are busy drawing up a list of sites for redevelopment and are asking councillors and communities to suggest suitable patches of land.

Once confirmed, the sites will be used to build council houses.

But the city council has said it will publish its list of proposed sites in March and is refusing to reveal which patches of field or scrubland are under consideration despite demands from councillors.

Although a densely populated city, Birmingham has more than 570 parks and playing fields - including the giant Sutton Park, Cannon Hill Park and Lickey Hills. No major or popular park is under threat.

But councillors remain nervous about building on more - particularly after major sites at Langley and Peddimore in Sutton Coldfield have already been withdrawn from the green belt and earmarked for major development.

Birmingham has already earmarked former green belt land at Sutton Coldfield for development

Coun Gareth Moore (Con Erdington) said: “I have serious reservations about the loss of public open space.

“The city simply doesn’t have enough.

“You never increase public open space, just eat away at it and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

He also argued that his definition of high and low quality open space may be different from someone else’s.

Cllr Gareth Moore

Last family inside run-down flats set for demolition say they have become 'forgotten tenants'

The council’s housing chief Clive Skidmore, in a presentation to city planners, said: “We are not talking about high quality open space, we are not talking about parks.”

He highlighted the case of the under-used Kent’s Moat Recreation Ground , in Kitts Green, where ten acres, about a third of the park, are being sacrificed for a 150-home development.

It is part of the wider regeneration of the Meadway area.

Mr Skidmore told the committee the community had been largely won over with the promise of upgrades to the remainder of the park including playgrounds, fitness equipment and sports pitches.

Although local councillor Carol Jones (Lib Dem Stechford and Yardley North) pointed out: “It wasn’t easy to persuade the community, there were several years of consultation.”

The council is looking for eight acres a year over the next four years.

poll loading

Should the council give up some unwanted patches of green open space for housing?

Labour cabinet member for the environment Coun Lisa Trickett said that only “unwanted and underutilised low quality green space” would be considered.

She added: “It should also be noted that new parks are being created in the city such as Eastside Park and the Smithfield Park as part of future city centre development.”

She added that land would only be considered following full consultation local councillors.