STOURBRIDGE MP Margot James has added her to support to a campaign to save Saltwells Local Nature Reserve from development.

The Tory MP said she has been contacted by hundreds of residents concerned about a controversial plan to build nine plush detached homes in the middle of the Black Country beauty spot in Netherton.

Birmingham based KB Extruders has submitted a planning application for the proposed high end development to Dudley Council and already planners at the authority have been inundated with hundreds of formal objections.

Meanwhile - more than 9,000 people have joined a social media campaign on Facebook and an online petition calling for the scheme to be scrapped has also be signed by more than 9,000.

Ms James said: “Having looked at the proposal in detail, I have now decided to oppose these buildings on Saltwells Nature Reserve.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, because I recognise that we need to build more houses whenever and wherever possible. But Saltwells Nature Reserve is a beautiful site that has been enjoyed for generations.

"These new dwellings and access routes will damage trees and woodland and risk spoiling local wildlife habitats. It is simply not the right place to be building, and the quantity, size and affordability of these houses do not fit with local priorities."

A design and access statement submitted to the council on behalf of applicant KB Extruders says the proposed housing scheme is aimed at medium to large families or anyone looking to upgrade and it would serve as a "positive regeneration project" for the area.

West Midlands Police, however, say the secluded location of the proposed development would mean the homes would be prone to break-ins.

People have until Wednesday November 21 to submit objections/comments to the council regarding the application (P18/1373).

To find out more about the campaign to preserve the beauty spot check out the Save Saltwells Nature Reserve page on Facebook.

The online petition can be found by searching Saltwells on