West Midlands could host 80,000 more homes

Up to 80,000 additional homes could be built in the West Midlands, a government-commissioned report says.

The report, by consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, sets out growth scenarios for the region. It says that up to 445,600 homes could be built in the West Midlands by 2026. This is 80,000 more than in the original targets in the region's draft spatial strategy.

Earlier this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) called for an additional 35,000 homes to be built in the West Midlands following recommendations by government affordable housing adviser the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (R&R, 11 January, p3).

The Nathaniel Lichfield study was commissioned by the Government Office for the West Midlands in response to the DCLG's intervention. It will now form part of the evidence supplied to the examination in public process.

But David Smith, chair of the West Midlands Regional Assembly, said the Government should have listened to the views of local government, rather than commission independent reports. "I think it's been an enormous and costly waste of time. We've had a London company parachuted in to suddenly decide how numbers should be increased."

- The report is available via www.regen.net/doc.

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