Public Meeting on North Worcestershire Golf Course


Just a short note to keep you up to date with where things are up to with The North Worcestershire Golf Course issue.

Last Friday (19th September) I attended a public meeting with Bloor Homes which was organised by the Council’s Longbridge Ward Committee. B31 Voices tweeted regular reports from the meeting as it was taking place, but I thought it may also be helpful for me to do a round-up of what happened there.

The meeting was chaired by local Labour Councillor Andy Cartwright. Labour Councillors from nearby wards, Brett O’Reilly and Peter Griffiths, also came along to hear residents views. Although they knew about the meeting, unfortunately no representatives of the Conservative Party turned up for the meeting. I hope they may decide to do so in future as this should be a cross-party issue.

The format of the meeting was that representatives of Bloor Homes gave a short presentation on their plans to build on the Golf Course and this was followed by questions from residents. They also distributed a copy of their update which I posted online last month for residents to see.

Questions were taken on – amongst other issues – traffic, access, drainage, the number of homes and maintenance of public space.

Bloor requested volunteers from the local community and elected representatives to form a ‘Planning Workshop’ to meet in November and to put forward views to Bloor on what residents may want to see on the site if it is developed.

I put to Bloor that residents may feel in an invidious position if they get involved in this Workshop. All the signs are that local residents do not want to see the Golf Course built on at all and the City Council’s current planning framework precludes building on the land there. Bloor will either have to persuade the Council to change that framework, or get a Government inspector to overrule the Council, if they are going to be allowed to build at all. I said that residents would want to be assured that if they participate in the Planning Workshop, Bloor would not seek to use such participation to suggest that residents are ok with the principle of redevelopment. It would simply be simply be an opportunity for residents to influence the shape of any redevelopment should Bloor be successful in overturning the Council’s current planning framework for the site.

Bloor agreed that they will not seek to use any residents’ involvement in this way so I do hope that local people who are interested will get involved. I don’t think Bloor are looking for a large group. Rather they want a group small enough to discuss things in some detail. That being the case there will still be a need to have more public meetings and newsletters as things unfold.

A number of residents said that they thought a lot of people had not heard about the meeting last Friday. Although information about it had gone out online, Andy Cartwright has had to rely on volunteers (mainly himself!) to deliver door to door notices. For future meetings, we will be able to cover the area much better if we can have more volunteers to help with delivery. So if you could help with this please do get in touch. Please also get in touch if you might be interested in joining the Planning workshop. If you e-mail me at I will ensure details are passed on to Councillor Andy Cartwright to help with delivery, and to him and Bloor if you would like to get involved in the Planning Workshop.

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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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