THE clock is ticking to the deadline for residents to voice their objection to any reclassification of the green belt bordering the Black Country.

Objections to any changes to the green belt need to be made to South Staffordshire District Council before 5pm on Thursday, December 12, when the council's public consultation for its Local Plan Review closes.

South Staffordshire District Council must build 8,845 houses by 2037 and have stated their preference to build 40% of the homes on the western border of the Black Country.

No plans have been submitted, but proposals have been put forward by developers, including visions for over 800 houses on green belt land around the Straits and Himley Road areas in Gornal.

Areas on the edge of Stourbridge, Kingswinford and Wordsley have also been eyed up by developers.

The council will review the responses of the consultation before deciding whether the land should be built on.

Concerned residents in the Straits and Himley Road areas launched their own campaign last month to object to any downgrading of the green belt that borders their homes, citing any future housing development could cause a major strain to services in the Dudley borough and would negatively impact wildlife.

The group, which has a Facebook page called Save North of Himley Road Green Belt, has been pounding the pavements to encourage residents to write in their objections before the deadline and have placed placards around the area stating "Keep your mitts off our green bits."

Campaigners have also launched a petition, both paper and online, which has garnered 1,300 and 1,450 signatures respectively.

Jayne Marsh, who launched the campaign after stumbling across the proposals online, is calling for more people to send in their proposals in writing as petitions are only classed as one objection.

She explained: "As Staffordshire only count petitions as one objection we are urging individuals to email send letters before 5pm on the 12th.

"We have over 50 Bertie badger posters in gardens saying "keep your mitts off our green bits" and local residents of every age have been sending in objections."

One of the youngest campaigners is six-year-old Liv Wasdell-Carter who has added her voice to the campaign by drawing a picture to show her object to any changes to the green belt.

Objections should be sent in writing by emailing or posting comments to Local Plans Team, Council Offices, Codsall, South Staffordshire WV8 1PX.

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