New Plan for the Black Country – August Consultation
Following our May article, we can confirm the Draft Black Country Plan (BCP) is due to go out to consultation in August 2021. The draft sets out the Preferred Options in terms of the spatial strategy for the Black Country - the 4 authorities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton - and will include proposed strategic sites for housing and employment and a suite of development management policies, for example those setting building design standards.
Once adopted, the BCP will supersede many of the Area Action Plans and Site Allocation Plans currently used by the four local authorities.
The draft BCP confirms a need for 76,076 dwellings and 565 ha of employment land – but only land for 47,837 dwellings and 354ha of employment land shown to be allocated, leaving a shortfall of 28,239 homes and 211 hectares of employment land.
The allocations proposed in the Draft BCP are a mix of existing sites (including those with planning permission and carried over from current Local Plan documents) and new sites, many of which are proposed in the Green Belt. The 4 authorities are also negotiating with adjoining local authority areas through the Duty to Cooperate with them, to accommodate a proportion of the need arising from the Black Country area. This will include negotiations with the councils of South Staffordshire, Lichfield, Cannock Chase, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Solihull. Discussions to date suggest between 102-173 hectares of employment land and 8,000 - 9,500 homes could potentially be provided by them, subject to their own local plan reviews. This still leaves an outstanding shortfall of between 20,239 and 18,739 homes and between 39 and 109 hectares of employment land which the Black Country authorities state they will pursue through further Duty to Cooperate discussions.
A complete list of all proposed site allocations can be found at: https://blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk/bcp/
The 8-week public consultation on the Draft BCP will asking for comments on the draft policies, draft land allocations and the information used to produce the plan.
If you have land in any of the 4 local authority areas that you consider could be suitable for progression through the BCP, please contact us by Friday 13th August 2021 at the latest.
Tyler Parkes will keep up to date on progress of the Black Country Plan – keep an eye on our website for details.