Report calls for strategy to tackle unmet housing need in Black Country

A report calls for a pan regional strategy to deliver much-needed homes for the Black Country, with a consultation in 2021 revealing that there is now a significant shortfall in housing land in the area for the period up to 2039.

It is estimated that nearly 29,000 properties will need to be delivered elsewhere to account for this shortfall.

Planning consultancy Lichfields has prepared a report to attempt to answer the question of where the identified housing shortfall should be located, examining the unmet housing needs and strategic planning issues facing the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Area.

The report calls for local authorities across the West Midlands to reconsider their contributions to sustainably allocate land where housing development can take place to meet these needs.

Lichfields, which compiled its report using publicly available data and mapping, says the region has suffered for too long with an ad-hoc approach to planning and the time is right to have a pan-regional, evidence-based functional relationship approach to solving the regions unmet housing needs. The report argues that this should include a more evidence-based strategy and a formal mechanism for allocating and distributing housing development.

brown and black house

Myles Wild-Smith, Associate Director at Lichfields Birmingham office and the report’s author, said: ‘The time is now for all involved in planning and housebuilding to have a full and frank conversation about how to tackle this issue. There is no single panacea to determine the proportion of unmet needs that LPAs should seek to accommodate from others.

‘A formal mechanism needs to be reached to ensure that everyone is compelled to work together to meet the unmet housing needs of the Black Country promptly and any that potentially arise from the forthcoming review of the Birmingham Plan. 

‘An evidenced-based approach to distributing these needs amongst the authorities, perhaps one that is similar to the functional relationship approach adopted by other authorities, could actively assist in ensuring that this need is distributed sustainably.’

The full report can be accessed here.

In related news, new research has found that greenfield housing developments are adding hundreds of thousands of new car journeys to our roads, increasing congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.

Photo by Tommy Mason


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