Almost half of the designated public open space on the CALA Homes “Foxhills” development in Barnt Green is behind locked gates, a councillor has revealed.
Barnt Green district and parish councillor Charlie Hotham said he made the discovery while investigating locked gates blocking a designated public right of way through the estate.
Villagers should be able to walk through Foxhills from Fiery Hill Road, via Butterwick Close, to Barnt Green Cricket Club without having to brave traffic on Cherry Hill Road, which does not have a pavement.
Instead, keypad-operated entrances and exits have been installed; one pair of gates on the estate and a blank steel door at the Cherry Hill Road end, blocking any right of way to all but the five houses within the locked area.
While Coun Hotham was checking original plans for the right of way, he looked at how much of the area was meant to be open to the community as part of planning permission conditions.
According to his calculations, 46 per cent of land that should be available to everyone in the community is inaccessible because of the gates that separate the houses from the rest of the estate.
Coun Hotham told parish colleagues: “It’s a sad situation. The path is supposed to be open to everyone, and the community and the cricket club next door want it open.
“CALA Homes didn’t achieve the amount of open space they were meant to include on the development, and they actually paid extra 106 money to the council because of it.
“They have said they want to keep the footpath closed off for security reasons, but they can’t do that.”
Promising to keep up the pressure, he said that a Bromsgrove planning officer had now made a site visit along with a CALA representative, and that he was now awaiting a response.
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