A CAMPAIGN to protect Halesowen's green belt is gathering speed - with volunteers poised to deliver 2,000 leaflets and a fund having raised more than £1,350 from concerned residents.

A surge of support for the group Save Halesowen's Countryside came after documents from St Modwen detailing its vision for between 980 and 1,130 homes as well as a possible primary school and health centre on Tack Farm, off the A456 Manor Way, became public.

Plans were submitted to Dudley Council as part of the Black Country Plan's call for sites for potential development.

Mick Freer, of Save Halesowen's Countryside, said its Facebook site has had an influx of new members and a Go Fund Me appeal has raised £1,350 to be used for campaign costs after people were horrified by the Tack Farm proposal.

Mick said: "Membership of our Facebook page is growing rapidly. We now have 3,800 members.

"This is not a surprise as we have proposals for approximately 5,000 houses and 25 acres of industry in the green belt within and round Halesowen.

"The threat is serious and the public are upset with good reason.

"The areas under threat are Lapal; Uffmoor (Tack Farm); Foxcote/Lutley and Coombeswood.

"The areas on the ‘Call for Sites’ map are alarming to say the least.

"The Tack Farm proposal acted as a catalyst for new supporters - people are staggered at what is at risk.

"We are in for a good fight."

The leaflet details which areas which are at risk and appeals for support.

Halesowen MP James Morris is backing the campaign. He said: "I am against building on our precious green belt. I have been working with the Save Halesowen’s Countryside group for some time and will continue to give them my support to protect our green belt.

"House building is of course important but nothing has been able to persuade me that we do not have the space needed on current brownfield land.

"Over the following weeks and months I hope more residents get involved as we help ramp up our efforts to protect Halesowen’s countryside for generations to come."

Dudley News: The leaflet which will be distributed by Save Halesowen's Countryside. The leaflet which will be distributed by Save Halesowen's Countryside.

Belle Vale councillor Simon Phipps said he was against building on Halesowen green belt.

He said of the Tack Farm plan: "It's a massive amount of houses that would be a significant extension of the town into the green belt."

He added: "I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure the final plans do not include developments on Halesowen green belt."

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, previously said: “The land in question has been put forward as part of the Call for Sites. This is a process required by government and invites landowners, or those in control of land, to put forward any site that they feel could help to meet the future needs of the area.

“This in no way indicates that the land will ever be released for development.

“What land is considered necessary for development will be determined in future years by the councillors of this authority.”

Dudley News: The leaflet. The leaflet.