Land Commission calls for ambitious steps aimed at transforming brownfield land

The West Midlands Land Commission (WMLC) has provided recommendations on how the amount of ‘developable land’ could be increased to underpin the growth plans set out in the WMCA’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), including the need for ‘further ambitious steps aimed at transforming brownfield land’.

Released in 2016, the WMCA’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) set out bold targets to raise Gross Value Added (GVA) per capita to the national average by 2026, and to 5% above the national average by 2030.

Although the WMCA’s economy is the UK’s second largest city region and a vital part of the UK economy: generating 7.1% of UK GVA, continued ‘economic underperformance’ since the 1980s has its contribution lagging behind the national average.

To achieve its objectives, the SEP anticipated 500,000 new jobs would need to be created by 2030, supported by an increased population of 542,000 people. It also estimated an additional 50,000 new homes were required to accommodate the rise in population, over and above the 165,000 already included in the region’s Local Plans combined together, and 1,600 hectares of brownfield land would need remediating to realise its employment aspirations.

As a result, the West Midlands Land Commission (WMLC) was formed to establish how land supply could be increased to underpin the SEP’s growth plans.

You can read the full list of recommendations by clicking here – but in short, the WMLC identified a number of ‘game changers’, including: transforming brownfield land, using remediation funding, increasing density and better use of public assets.

At M. Lambe Construction, we have been helping many of the country’s leading house builders regenerate their complex brownfield sites, delivering vibrant new neighbourhoods in and around existing infrastructure.

However, unlike greenfield sites, the redevelopment of brownfield land comes with many additional barriers, including: contamination, potential for unexploded ordinance, complex existing services, neighbouring buildings, underground obstacles from previous structures and connection to existing Victorian sewers, all with the potential to impact on the site’s financial viability.

In the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, we are helping Colmore Tang deliver a £100m brownfield regeneration scheme. St. George’s Urban Village will see the creation of 291 new apartments and townhouses within one of the city’s conservation areas. Our scope of works, includes: foundation bases consisting of pile caps and ring beam, substructures, specialist storm water storage, deep drainage, hard external landscaping and extensive 278-works on a very tight one way street.

The project has presented us with many of the mentioned barriers, but through early contractor involvement and working in collaboration with our client, we identified all the critical risks and provided solutions to either eliminate or mitigate them.

Andrew Malpass, Project Manager for Colmore Tang, said: “Since day one, M. Lambe Construction has achieved every target set and adhered to in the construction programme. In some instances, because of their expertise and willingness to collaborate, have offered alternatives to works that saved us not only money but time on the programme. They never bring a problem into the office unless they have a solution to go with it.”

So, to work with a specialist contractor who has the experience and expertise to help regenerate your brownfield site whilst ensuring it remains financially viable, click here to send us your details or call us on 0121 554 2108 to talk with one of our experts.

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