Government inspector endorses Birmingham Development Plan

By on 21/04/2016 in News
LAN001- 076 - Langley Hills Perspective - August 2015.

An artist’s impression of the Langley development. Image: David Lock Associates.

The Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) – the council’s long-term strategic plan for the whole city – has been endorsed by the government planning inspectorate.

The BDP will allow the development of 51,100 additional homes, over 300 hectares of employment land, 350,000 sqm of retail floor space and 745,000 sqm of office floor space.

The inspector supported the release of Green Belt land for the provision of 6,000 houses in Langley and a 71 hectare strategic employment site at Peddimore. He also concluded there is no need for further Green Belt release after 2031.

The inspector confirmed that the housing requirement for the city is 89,000 houses and has endorsed the council’s approach to dealing with the shortfall.

Waheed Nazir, acting strategic director for economy, said: “Having the Birmingham Development Plan endorsed by the planning inspector is a major success and means we can get on with the job of providing much-needed housing and employment opportunities in the city.

“It is critical in supporting the city’s growth agenda and our ambition for it to be an enterprising, innovative and green city, delivering sustainable growth to meet the needs of its population and strengthening its global competitiveness.

“Crucially, the inspector has endorsed both our approach to the release of land on the Green Belt and the dealing with the housing shortfall.”

Key points of Langley development:

  • Langley is a unique opportunity in Sutton Coldfield for the development of around 6,000 homes
  • Supported by exemplar infrastructure and facilities
  • Destination of choice for families. Mix of house sizes, types and tenures
  • The development will achieve the highest standards of design and sustainability, and be integrated into the existing community
  • Integrated and sustainable public infrastructure links including bus rapid transit/’ SPRINT’ which will serve the site and connect Langley to Sutton town centre and the city centre
  • A strategic green corridor connecting New Hall Valley Country Park through Langley to the Green Belt
  • New junction with the A38 and new connections into the area
  • A Supplementary Planning Document for Langley setting out the detail will be published for consultation in summer

Key points of Life Sciences campus:

  • Life Sciences campus will form a key part of the Life Sciences Economic Zone in Selly Oak and Edgbaston
  • A component of a major 12-hectare regeneration site being developed by Harvest Partnership
  • Campus expected to provide up to 2,400 jobs on site and generate a turnover of up to £243m
  • Birmingham has a growing reputation as a leading international centre for life sciences

Key points from the Inspector’s report:

  • Consultations on the Plan met all the relevant legal requirements
  • All relevant legal requirements in respect of their duty to co-operate were complied with
  • The Plan appropriately identifies housing needs and sets out effective measures to meet them (including the needs of travellers)
  • The Plan makes appropriate provision to meet employment development needs
  • Exceptional circumstances to justify alterations to the Green Belt boundary in order to allocate the sustainable urban extensions at Langley, land for housing at the former Yardley sewage works and the strategic employment site at Peddimore have been demonstrated
  • No further green belt / green field releases are justified (calls for additional / larger green belt and green field land releases from developers and land owners were dismissed). The proposal for development of North Worcestershire Golf Club has been rejected for lack of evidence.
  • Other policies relating to growth areas, centres, minerals and waste, climate change and flood risk, transport and communications, the natural and historic environment, green belt, open space, sports and recreational facilities, education and health are justified and effective
  • Implementation of the Plan is economically viable
  • The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) provides adequate explanations for the council’s decisions in respect of the green belt releases. (The inspector did however disagree with the Council’s scoring with regard to specific aspects of the SA although the outcome remains unchanged)

Proposed modifications, none of which are crucial to the plan’s strategy, and all of which are acceptable. The most significant modifications are:

  • The overall housing requirement is 89,000 dwellings (an increase of 4,000), but there is no change to the target of 51,100 to be delivered in Birmingham
  • The developable area of Peddimore is reduced from 80 hectares to 71 hectares
  • It is suggested that an early review of the Longbridge Area Action Plan should be undertaken
  • Two sites are allocated for traveller use
  • A new minerals policy is included, to ensure that viable workable mineral reserves are extracted before development takes place
  • Key elements of existing SPDs (the protection of industrial land, shopping and local centres and open space in new residential development) are included within the plan
  • Revisions to monitoring criteria and to the measures which will trigger a review of the Plan in the event of under performance against targets

-ENDS-

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