The Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) setting out a 15-year strategy to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs can be formally adopted and approved by Birmingham City Council, the Government has confirmed.
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell lifted a Holding Direction which prevented the BDP from progressing pending further investigation into proposals to earmark land in the Sutton Coldfield green belt for housing and employment purposes.
Mr Barwell said he agreed the scale of unmet housing demand in Birmingham was “exceptional and possibly unique”. The Housing Minister said he saw no reason to disagree with the conclusions an Inspector appointed to consider the plan reached that the BDP was consistent with National Planning Policy and should be adopted.
The BDP sets out proposals to address the city’s housing crisis by building 51,000 homes in Birmingham, including up to 6,000 at Langley in Sutton Coldfield.
Birmingham City Council has promised that the new homes will be supported by exemplar infrastructure and facilities and the development will achieve the highest standards of design and sustainability, and be integrated into the existing community.
The green belt land was identified following a thorough city-wide search to identify possible locations for new homes on previously developed land, known as brownfield sites.
All brownfield land in Birmingham with potential for housing development was considered through the city council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment to see whether sites were suitable for housing, how much they could accommodate, and when development was likely to take place.
Research by the council concluded that 89,000 new homes are required over the next 15 years to address an acute housing shortage and meet the needs of Birmingham’s growing population.
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Councillor John Clancy, the Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “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.
“This is an ambitious plan for growth which will deliver 51,100 new homes and significant new employment opportunities. It is an important step forward that, having reviewed the robustness of Plan, the Government has supported the conclusions of the Planning Inspector and recognised the need to release Green Belt to help meet our housing and employment land needs.”
Waheed Nazir, Strategic Director of Economy at Birmingham City 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 BDP is expected to be formally adopted by Birmingham City Council early next year.