Save North Worcestershire Golf Course


Residents have contacted me about reports that the North Worcestershire Golf Course in my constituency may be sold off for redevelopment as a housing estate.

Local councillors and I have opposed this in the past and we had been assured by the Golf Club that they had no such plans. Therefore, we are as concerned to hear the latest reports as local residents have been. There is indeed a pressing need for more homes to be built in our area. However, that doesn’t mean that all open spaces are suitable for such development. There are a range of reasons why I do not believe the golf course would be suitable for house building – not least the importance of open space in that part of Birmingham and the flood risk which could follow this kind of building on high ground. I am not alone in holding these views. The matter came up at Birmingham City Council’s Northfield District Committee on Friday, and the meeting was unanimous in maintaining a position of opposition to building on the golf course.

Of course, none of this stops anyone – including the Golf Club and/or any property developer –  from either buying or selling the land, or submitting a planning application to build houses there. Much as I would like to, I can’t conclusively say what the Councillors who sit on the Planning Committee would decide if such an application came up. They have strict procedural rules to follow when considering planning applications.

However, it will help that the golf course is not zoned for housing development in the draft Birmingham development plan. The opposition of all the Councillors from the local area will help too. There are good and substantial reasons why the golf course should not be built upon. I know that Labour Councillors Ian Cruise, Andy Cartwright and Jess Phillips are already developing materials through which residents like you can also make their views known as effectively as possible. I’m working closely with them on that and a copy of a petition that has been already been drawn up can be found here.

If anyone thinks that the success of a planning application to build on the golf course is a foregone conclusion, they should think again.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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