NO green belt land should need to be built on in the Black Country over the next decade says West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

Having studied recent population projections and the scale of derelict brownfield sites, the mayor says all new homes needed in the Black Country up to at least 2031 should be built on brownfield land.

His vow comes as he outlined his ‘Green Belt Pledge’ - a plan to take the fight to developers who want to destroy the precious green belt countryside across the region.

Mr Street, who will be in Halesowen tomorrow (Friday February 21) to stage an Ask Andy event at Halesowen Cultural Centre, believes that with the urgency of tackling climate change, preserving the green belt is more important than ever.

People who want to ask the mayor questions can register by clicking here or just turn up at the centre in Highfield Lane at 5pm.

Mr Street, the former managing director of John Lewis, said: “Across the Black Country, at much-loved places like Tack Farm in Halesowen, the Seven Cornfields between Wolverhampton and Sedgley and Foxcote Farm in Wollescote, residents are fighting to stop developers taking away their valued open spaces.

“The Black Country is leading the way in reclaiming derelict brownfield areas to build new homes and the fact is we have plenty of such sites.

"For this reason, and having looked at population projections, I do not believe there should be any new green belt development in the Black Country between now and at least 2031.

“I would rather see new family homes built on cleaned-up brownfield sites in the Black Country, or new apartments built in Birmingham City Centre, than diggers tearing apart our green belt.

“My ‘Green Belt Pledge’ lets the people of the Black Country know that the mayor will be on their side when it comes to fighting unwanted proposals from developers.”

Mr Street said if he is re-elected as mayor in May he will fight green belt development by working with councils to provide viable alternative brownfield sites; push the Government for an initial £200M to clean up derelict and contaminated sites across the Black Country; create a team of ‘urban density’ specialists to help councils and developers increase the number of homes they can build on brownfield sites and in town centres and call on the Government to better protect the green belt.

The Ask Andy event will run from 5pm till 6.30pm.