Birmingham Development Plan Put on Hold
Communities secretary Greg Clark has used new Housing and Planning Act powers to place a holding notice on Birmingham City Council's Development Plan.
The Birmingham Development Plan was backed by a Planning Inspector in April. The document's housing requirement fell nearly 40,000 homes short of meeting the City's objectively assessed need for new homes; however the Inspector considered that the Council will work with neighbouring authorities to secure additional provision to meet the overall housing need. That is not a new situation: the evidence shows that for many years newly-arising housing need in Birmingham has outstripped the capacity of the city to meet it, and so a substantial proportion of Birmingham’s need has been met in other parts of the West Midlands.
In his report, the inspector supported the release of green belt land for the provision of 6,000 houses in Langley and a 71-hectare strategic employment site at Peddimore, both sites near Sutton Coldfield.
Birmingham City Council has now confirmed that the government "has issued a holding notice on the Birmingham Development Plan using its powers under the Housing and Planning Act".
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."
According to local press reports, the communities secretary's decision to step in followed an intervention from Sutton Coldfield Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell.
The Birmingham Post has reported that Mitchell, who has led the campaign against green belt development, asked Clark to officially review the proposal.