Potential area of development on Kingswinford and Wordsley Green Belt.
- Ridge Hill Woods, Lawnswood House and the majority of the previous Marsh Estate has been purchased by Clowes Developments Ltd. Lawnswood House has obtained planning permission to be converted into a pub/restaurant owned by Brunning and Price.
- Clowes Developments has submitted the land purchased to the Black Country Core Strategy as a ‘Call to Site’. The land is referred to as the Lawnswood House Estate and Clowes have proposed it be suitable for 800 residential houses.
- The ‘Lawnswood House Estate’ is situated in South Staffs. South Staffs County Council have their own Local Plan to decide how much and where future housing may be sited. Specifically this is known as their Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). They have an obligation to work with other local authorities to help explore their housing needs where possible.
- The submission to SSCC Call to Sites by Savills, as published 7.1.19 was an amendment to an earlier version which had been received to meet the 30 November deadline. The amendment was to show that Savills now represent both Clowes Developments and Folkes Holdings and it was considered better to publish the more up to date information. None of the representations were available to others for comment on during the consultation period. This proposes to develop approx 431 acres of Green Belt land along the A449.
- The ‘Golden Triangle’ (land between Lodge Lane and Swindon Road) have also been submitted on the Black Country Core Strategy Call to Sites list by Barberry Developments. Both Clowes and Barberry used Harris Lamb as the agent for both their submissions to the BCCS, on the same side of the A449.
- The woods only has one legal public right of way, which starts on Lawnswood Road and ends in Ridgehill Cottage Garden. The new owners have every right to fence off the remainder of the woods and prevent access from Lodge Lane, should they wish to. This equality applies to the land around Friars Gorse, where people have evidence of using routes other than those marked as public rights of way.
- Ridgehill Woods are protected by a blanket Tree Protection Order. Permission was sought from South Staffs via the Forestry Commission for commercial timber logging to take place on the Softwood. Permission was also sought to fell all the Beech, the council reduced this by two thirds. Some felling appears to have taken place without permission. A condition of the felling was that all trees have to be replaced with saplings within five years. The new owners are conducting tree surveys on the woods and have submitted one planning application to fell/doctor 29 trees.
- Ridgehill Woods are designated by DEFRA as a ‘Priority Habitat Inventory – Deciduous Woodland’.