Plans to chop down the woodland on the Thimblemill Recreation ground to clear the way for building 13 luxury homes will go to Sandwell Council's planning committee on Wednesday.
The plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers, despite the opposition of local Ward councillors and a petition signed by over 1,000 calling for the woodland to be preserved.
Smethwick councillor Richard Marshall said, “We are not anti-house building, but everyone knows we are surrounded by perfectly good sites in this area where new homes could be built without the need to destroy the last bit of natural uncultivated woodland in Smethwick. There are a number of environmental questions around this particular site which have not been answered, including issues of wildlife, drainage, and the road access on to Thimblemill Road.”
Abbey councillor Bob Piper said, “We feel there are perfectly good planning ground to throw out this report. I am not happy that some of the environmental issues are supposedly going to be agreed as conditions of the application after the planning consent has been granted. If these matters are going to be resolved it should be before the application is approved and open to public scrutiny, not cobbled together in private behind closed doors.”
The application will be considered by the planning committee in public session at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury on Wednesday 24th September at 5pm.