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Holding notice issued on Birmingham's development plan

Words: Laura Edgar

The government has issued a Holding Notice on the Birmingham Development Plan using its powers under the new Housing and Planning Act.

In a statement issued on Birmingham City Council's website, John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Clearly it is very disappointing that the government has chosen to make this decision in spite of the positive outcome of the independent planning inquiry. The Inspector supported the city’s growth strategy, including the release of green belt. We will now work with the government to try to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Calling the Birmingham Development Plan "a critical document for the future growth of the city," the deputy leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward said that the government’s intervention "will delay the delivery of much needed housing and employment land. The plan is vital to support the city’s economy and meet the needs of our growing population. We want to minimise delays to the adoption of the plan and ensure we can fully implement the city’s growth strategy."

The planning inspectorate approved the city’s development plan in April.

The plan includes proposals for the development of 51,100 homes, 6,000 of which are planned for green belt land in Langley, Sutton Coldfield.

It also makes provision for the development of 300 hectare of employment land, 350,000 square metres of retail floor space and 745,000 square metres of office floor space. A 71-hectare site in Peddimore is green belt land designated as a strategic employment site.

The inspector, Roger Clews, said the consultations on the plan met all the relevant legal requirements and noted that the legal requirements for the duty to cooperate were also met. Additionally, he said it makes "appropriate" provision to meet employment needs.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Ministers have issued a holding direction that prevents Birmingham from adopting its local plan until government has completed its consideration of a request from a local MP to intervene.”

The DCLG said Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell has asked the communities secretary Greg Clark to call in Birmingham’s local plan due to concerns with the proposal for 6,000 new homes on Langley green belt land.

To allow time to give these concerns a “proper consideration”, Clark has issued a holding direction to Birmingham City Council which prevents the council from adopting the plan until the direction is withdrawn.

The direction, the DCLG said, does not relate to the “merits or otherwise of the soundness of Birmingham’s plan”.

The holding direction is “simply to allow time for proper consideration of the issues”.

Read more about the Birmingham Development Plan here.

Image credit | iStock