News - 28/06/2024

Birmingham Development Plan

Birmingham City Council Cabinet approves the ‘Birmingham Development Plan Preferred Options document’ (BDP) for public consultation

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Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet has approved the ‘Birmingham Local Plan Preferred Options document’ (BLP) for public consultation, commencing on the 8th of July for 6 weeks. The Plan sets out the preferred development strategy, policies and site allocations for a 20-year period.

The standout headline is one of a major housing shortfall of 46,153 dwellings over this period. The Council will therefore continue to rely on other local authorities within the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Area (HMA) stepping up to meet the shortfall; a matter which is likely to become politically charged as those authorities have their own delivery challenges.

With the Council resisting a Green Belt review, a matter which will no doubt be subject to scrutiny, the housing delivery strategy is focused on a blend of initiatives including increased housing density, better use of public land assembly, employment designation restructuring which will release poorer quality land.

The strategy relies heavily on the identification of 25 new Growth Zones, promoting significant quantities of new homes and employment land; largely reflecting the direction of growth within the recently adopted and well regarded ‘Our Future City Plan: Central Birmingham Framework 2045’.

With the Council’s financial position continuing to bite, delivery will open up many private-public collaborative development opportunities, with an expectation of innovative quality place creation, to meaningfully address the social-economic-environmental challenges at play. The Zones will further strengthen Birmingham’s reputation as a robust location for investment. LSH is already working on such place-centred opportunities, aided by our considerable understanding of Birmingham’s layers and excellent relationship with Council officers and other key stakeholders.

Most of the Growth Zone allocations make sense and will help spread the ongoing waves of investment out of the City Centre and beyond the middle ring road. However, we consider that there is a missed opportunity which should be addressed for the Gun Quarter.

Whilst designated a Growth Zone, it’s the only one without a site allocation and lacks progressive ambition. We suggest a re-think; the Gun Quarter is ripe to deliver thousands of additional dwellings through a new place/service led community, it’s also critical for safe movement between the City Centre-Newtown-Jewellery/Knowledge Quarters-Heartlands Eco Town. This will also help ease pressure on other authorities having to meet Birmingham’s shortfall.

Overall, the BLP offers bold urban-led regeneration that resonates with our Planning, Regeneration + Infrastructure team’s thinking, to which we offer our support and look forward to engaging positively with the Council and its partners.

Please contact our Birmingham planning team if you are interested in understanding more about the emerging BLP or development in Birmingham and how we might help you engage with the process.

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