TWO thousand residents in Bromsgrove are being invited to take part in a consultation about a new housing development proposed for the area, the Advertiser/Messenger can exclusively reveal.

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust and West Mercia Housing Group are launching the consultation after drawing up proposals to build 150 new homes on a nine-acre site between Perryfields Road and King George Close, Sidemoor.

The site is currently agricultural land and has been redundant for three years.

If approved the proposal, which is still in its early stages, will go some way to helping local people get a foothold on the property ladder.

The properties will be a mix, including some four bedroomed, for shared ownership and affordable rent.

The majority of the properties will have two or three bedrooms to help boost the chances of local families getting homes.

The shared ownership scheme works by enabling young professionals and working families, who are struggling to buy their own home, to purchase a share of a property.

This means that they benefit from potential house price rises and have a stake in their own home.

The scheme includes a public open space, including playing space for children in the centre of the site, where maximum surveillance can be achieved, and open fields for dog walkers and general sport and recreation.

A contribution would also be made towards the maintenance, and possible upgrading, of the nearby existing recreation ground. The existing allotments will not be affected.

Mike Brown, chief executive of BDHT, said: "Before we put the proposals into the formal planning process we want to ensure those residents immediately affected have the chance to influence and view the plans and provide us with feedback.

"We have worked for two years with our partners to identify a site which is suitable for such a scheme and we believe the Perryfields land provides us with a strong opportunity to ensure the next generation of Bromsgrove residents can live and work in the town.

"The scheme also includes much-needed improvements to the accident blackspot junction of Perryfields Road and Kidderminster Road."

More than 2,000 residents in the Sidemoor ward will receive a personal invitation to a drop-in day in March. One-to-one interviews for Sidemoor residents who cannot attend the consultation event will also be planned.

Government figures show that 76 per cent of Bromsgrove people are unable to afford their first home.

Phil Street, executive director of Partnerships and Projects at Bromsgrove District Council, said: "The provision of affordable housing is a priority for the council.

"We cannot however comment specifically on this proposal as it needs to be considered by the council's planning committee on its planning merits when an application is submitted."

The consultation document will be sent to invited residents this week. Sidemoor residents with questions before then can contact 0800 0850 160.

Wider consultation will take place as part of the full planning process.