By Carl Jackson 18/07 Updated: 19/07 21:02
RESIDENTS have had their last chance to air their views on the fate of Catshill Marshes.
Public consultation on the application for the land off Church Road to be declared a 'Village Green' has now closed and the decision now lies in the hands of Worcestershire County Council (WCC).
If the application is refused, the verges could be subject to development with Cala Homes having already recieved outline permission from Bromsgrove District Council to build 80 homes on the site.
However, residents who had allied to form the Catshill Marshes Action Group (CMGA) were given hope when more detailed plans were thrown out by the council's planning committee in May due to concerns around the design and layout.
The group applied for Village Green Status on the land under section 15 of the Commons Act 2006.
The application claims the area has been used for 18 different forms of community recreation for more than 45 years from ball games and fun days to blackberrying and treasure hunts. Any building on the land will be automatically prohibited if the bid is approved by WCC.
The action group met with Cala recently to discuss the site.
Imir Frazer of CMAG said: "It was amicable, but we did say we would still prefer the development not to go ahead.
"The meeting was 'damage limitation'.
"If they get detailed planning permission, our views and concerns will have been put forward and hopefully acted upon.
"We are prepared to carry on fighting this until a final decision is made one way or the other."
She added residents raised extra concerns about flooding and the impact on wildlife.
James Brogan, district councillor for Catshill, is backing the action group and is also against development on the land.
He said: "The meeting was very amicable and productive.
"Its a shame Cala didn't consult with residents as thoroughly in the beginning.
"It might have avoided a lot of hassle.
"The main goal is still to get Village Green Status.
"That will kill any building off."
Cala confirmed it had appealed the planning committee's refusal and had rebsubmitted a revised application.
A spokesperson said: "We believe our new application addresses many of the issues residents raised.
"We are very grateful to the members of the action group for meeting with us.
"It was very constructive and we will consider carefully what changes we can make."
Cala has also formally challenged the land becoming a Village Green.
"We are confident our objection will prevail," the spokesperson said.
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