William Eichler 25 November 2016

Controversial Birmingham development plan to go ahead

Controversial Birmingham development plan to go ahead image

Whitehall has given the go-ahead to Birmingham’s plans to build thousands of homes on green belt land in order to address the city’s ‘acute’ housing shortage.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has agreed to allow the Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) which will see the construction of 51,000 homes—including 6000 on green belt-designated land.

Research by the council projects 89,000 new homes will be required to meet Birmingham’s housing needs over the next 15 years.

Mr Barwell said he agreed the scale of unmet housing demand in Birmingham was ‘exceptional and possibly unique’ and so he lifted a Holding Direction which had prevented the BDP from progressing.

The city council said that every potential brownfield site was carefully considered through their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

The secretary of state for communities and local government Sajid Javid welcomed the decision during a speech given yesterday at the annual National House Building Council lunch.

‘Where local councils come forward with sensible, robust local plans – and are willing to take the tough decisions – I will back them all the way,’ he said.

‘For example, Birmingham City Council has put forward a plan to meet some of its local housing need by removing green belt designation from a small area of land.’

‘The plan is supported by the independent Planning Inspectorate, but it’s fundamentally a local decision made by local people. They’ve looked at all the options. They’ve considered all the implications,’ he continued.

‘They want to build homes for their children and grandchildren. And Westminster politicians should not stand in the way of that. That’s why, earlier today, we lifted the central government hold on the Birmingham Local Plan.’

‘This is excellent news because it means we can now get on with the vital task of building homes and delivering the jobs that our fast-growing population so desperately needs,’ said Cllr John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council.

‘This is an ambitious plan for growth which will deliver 51,100 new homes and significant new employment opportunities.’

Waheed Nazir, strategic director of economy at the council, said: ‘Removing the Holding Direction is an important decision both for the city and the wider UK in terms of our ability to deliver housing growth.

‘We therefore welcome the Secretary of State’s endorsement of the Plan and recognition we have taken a robust approach that is consistent with national policy.’

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) condemned the decision and said the Government should have stopped the ‘significant loss of green belt’.

‘This was really too late in the day for Government to change the decision,’ said Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at CPRE.

‘It should have intervened earlier to prevent such a significant loss of green belt.

‘We believe that priority should be given to the huge untapped potential for brownfield regeneration, both within Birmingham itself and in the wider West Midlands conurbation.’

For more on this controversial topic read our feature, Do we REALLY need the green belt?

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Information Governance Lead

Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£41,881 - £45,859
We are recruiting for Information Governance professionals who will be ambassadors of information governance excellence within... Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Security Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £45597 per annum
Security Analyst Permanent, Full Time £41,000 to £45,597 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance

Essex County Council
£34501 - £36501 per annum
Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance Permanent, Full Time £32,900 to £36,501 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
***When applying for this role, please note that interviews will be held as part of a Virtual Recruitment Day on the 13th July 2021*** About the Role England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Quantity Surveyor Procurement (Major Works and Refurbishment)

Brent Council
£46,839 - £49,827 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity to provide quantity surveying services and support for the Council’s Housing major works refurbishment projects. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue