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WMCA and Lovell set to deliver 4,000 new homes

An artist’s impression of the access route to the new HS2 Interchange Station and the Arden Cross development site

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, has announced a partnership between the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Lovell Partnerships that will see more than 4,000 homes being built across the West Midlands.

The partnership aims to bring together public and private sector skills and investment to unlock old industrial land for development to ease pressure on the green belt. 

The 4,000 homes will be constructed over the next eight years, boosting the region’s efforts to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 – the amount needed to meet future housing and economic demand. 

Street said: “The West Midlands is undergoing a huge resurgence, with a thriving economy and more and more people looking to take advantage of all our region has to offer. However, that success brings with it several challenges, not least the need to build more homes and commercial premises to keep up with the demand from residents and businesses. 

“This partnership with Lovell will help us to address these challenges by bringing together their expertise with the WMCA’s powers and resources to build more than 4,000 homes on former industrial land. This way we can unlock more brownfield land for homes and jobs, and just as importantly protect the precious green belt land at the same time.” 

Schemes include:

  • 151 mixed-tenure homes on land off Steelhouse Lane Wolverhampton;
  • 283 homes on land off Green Lane, Walsall – including 89 affordable properties and 72 for rent;
  • 225 homes on 12 infill sites on land owned by Sandwell Council; and
  • plans for 75 affordable homes in Cookley Wharf, Brierley Hill.

Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council, said: “This partnership is an important element of our Single Commissioning Framework, which will see the WMCA target its funding on developments that meet our key goals, including tackling youth and long-term unemployment, securing affordable housing, maximising public transport connectivity and supporting advanced methods of construction.”

WMCA approves £20m UK Central Hub in Solihull

The WMCA has approved plans to fund up to £20 million for the UK Central Hub in Solihull alongside the HS2 development.  

The hub is a ‘major driver’ of economic growth in the West Midlands. It comprises a number of internationally important businesses and organisations, which include the NEC, Birmingham Airport, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park.

The hub includes the 340-acre Arden Cross development site, which will be home to the new HS2 interchange station.

Jonathan Bretherton, managing director at the Urban Growth Company, said: “This upgraded infrastructure will support the NEC and Birmingham Business Park as well as HS2, and, in the future, thousands of people living and working at Arden Cross.

“Crucially, this improved infrastructure will make Arden Cross extremely attractive as an investment opportunity, appealing to high-value manufacturing, advanced research and development and associated academia, which in turn will generate the jobs of tomorrow.”  

Early preparatory work is already under way, and more advanced work is expected to start next year.

Image credit | WMCA