Birmingham & Black Country

Concerns over 'green space loss' in Solihull borough

Concerns about the loss of some green space in part of the West Midlands have been expressed by a council's opposition Labour group.

Some green space in the Solihull borough was being used up for housing, group leader David Jamieson said.

Green space has not been replaced "like for like" in some areas, the Liberal Democrats said.

Bob Sleigh, Conservative deputy leader of the council, said there had been substantial investment in green space.

The Green Party said green spaces in the north Solihull area were "very much valued".

'Just grass'

The Tories regained control of Solihull last May and will need to win seven of the 17 seats up for election to retain their majority.

The council is made up of 29 Conservative members, 12 Liberal Democrat members, six Labour members and four Green Party members.

Asked about green space in a BBC WM debate, Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Hedley said he did not think there was a danger of Solihull losing its "town in the country" motto.

But he added: "I think if we promise the electorate that if we're building on green space, we will replace it like for like, then that's what needs to be done.

"In some parts of the borough that hasn't been done."

Mr Jamieson said losing some open green space was happening "throughout the borough" of Solihull.

The Labour group leader added: "It's happening particularly in the north of the borough, where we're seeing green amenity space... being used up for housing."

'Balance struck'

Green Party group leader Karl Macnaughton said: "What you've got in the north Solihull regeneration area... is some of the most dense housing in the whole borough and some of the most precious green spaces in the whole borough because of that.

"They may be small and they may be just grass as some people seem to see them, but they are very much valued as more than that."

Mr Sleigh said there "has to be a balance struck".

The Conservative deputy leader of the council added: "People do need homes. We need to find land to build those homes on, but what we equally have to do is we have to make sure our green space is protected and enhanced.

"We've invested substantially over the years in green space in Solihull."

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