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5,000 home blueprint for West Midlands launched

Words: Laura Edgar
Brick laying / Shutterstock_462881611

The West Midlands Combined Authority has launched the Greater Icknield and Smethwick Housing Growth Prospectus.

The prospectus has been developed with Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

It aims to drive a £400 million development of 5,160 new homes on five brownfield sites in the adjoining areas of Greater Icknield, Birmingham, and Smethwick, Sandwell.

These are:

  Grove Lane – Approximately 900 houses and apartments. The £353 million Midland Metro Hospital is located at the centre of the site.

 Icknield Port Loop – 1,800 homes.

  • Spring Hill – 750 homes on the site of the current City Hospital on Dudley Road, which will be vacated once the Midland Metro Hospital opens in 2018.

  • Brindley Canalside – 755 homes on three sites alongside the Birmingham Canal in Smethwick.

  • Windmill Eye – 450 new homes planned for the existing housing development north of Cape Hill.

Steve Eling, leader of Sandwell Council, said the prospectus sets out what is being done to bring forward the councils’ vision – “putting brownfield land to good use to accommodate quality new housing”.

A further £400 million has, according to the combined authority, been attracted from public and private sector partners in infrastructure improvements.

The schemes were originally published in February this year, with the prospectus laying out that their growth can be accelerated over the next 10 to 15 years.

Suggested approaches to encouraging growth include applying to the government for Housing Zone status, a programme aimed at accelerating work on brownfield sites and “streamlining the planning process”.

John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We want to rejuvenate and create neighbourhoods that are well connected, have a good range of facilities and services, and are attractive to residents and investors.

“By expanding our partnership working and targeting funding to revive brownfield sites, either by financing infrastructure or supporting individual schemes, we can give developers and investors the confidence to get to work and provide badly needed homes.”

The prospectus can be found here (pdf).

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