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Black Country to build ‘biggest’ garden city

Words: Laura Edgar

Britain’s “biggest ever” garden city is to be built in the Black Country in an attempt to meet the demand for housing.

It will be built, according to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), across 30 towns near to and in Wolverhampton, from Aldridge to West Bromwich.

The development is being led by the LEP and the Homes and Community Agency, with the support of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The development has been designed to cater for “unprecedented” housing demand as well as to sustain “record levels” of private sector investment coming into the region, said the LEP.

It is expected to boost the local economy by £18 billion over 10 years and aims to retain graduates from universities in the West Midlands.

The proposals suggest that 45,000 homes will be built in the Black Country garden city. It will be “one of Britain’s biggest ever brownfield site regenerations, covering more than 1,500 hectares”, explained the LEP, and forms a “vital” part of the region’s plans to win business investment and sustain economic growth, transforming the region as a place to live and work.

The region is seeking £6 billion in investment across 550 sites. It will be setting out its case to potential investors at the annual MIPIM property festival this week.

Building work is expected to start this year to be completed by 2026.

Dr Chris Handy OBE, Black Country LEP board member, said: "The garden city is a vital part of the Black Country’s growth plans and future success. It will increase the appeal of the region as a place to live and work, and will boost the local construction industry and its supply chain. It is close to skilled jobs and universities, a regional market of 5 million people, and is served by quality transport connections.”

Communities secretary Greg Clark added that the garden city will “deliver modern new housing that will be a magnet for business investment, notably in advanced manufacturing and construction, which will boost the local economy and supply the houses local families want”.

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