HMA Strategic Growth Study: changing the face of the West Midlands

In February 2018, the 14 Greater Birmingham and Black Country HMA authorities published their latest strategic growth study, which recommended a number of sustainable geographic areas to meet housing demand.

The Greater Birmingham HMA Strategic Growth Stage 4 Study was commissioned following the adoption of the Birmingham Development Plan. The BDP (Policy TP48) requires Birmingham City Council to play an ‘active role’ in promoting, monitoring and progressing the provision and delivery of its housing shortfall – 37,900 homes (2011 – 2031) – within the Greater Birmingham HMA.

In addition to Birmingham’s dilemma, a possible shortfall of up to 22,000 dwellings (2016 – 36) has also been raised in the Black Country Core Strategy Issues and Options document.

Local authorities are required to assess their ‘full housing needs’ and work with neighbouring authorities where housing market areas cross administrative boundaries.

The independent study will do just that, offering the authorities’ ways to collectively meet housing projections through strategic developments.

24 locations had been identified and subjected to high level sustainability and infrastructure assessments, with 11 making the final standing:

  • Sustainable urban extension (1,500 – 7,500 dwellings): South of Dudley, North of Tamworth, East of Lichfield and North of Penkridge.
  • Employment-led (1,500 – 7,500 dwellings): North of Wolverhampton at i54, East of Birmingham and South of Birmingham Airport/ NEC.
  • Sustainable settlement: South of Birmingham, between Birmingham and Bromsgrove, around Shenstone and around Balsall Common.

The report states that further work will be required to assess feasibility, infrastructure requirements and delivery issues, but it is encouraging to see the HMA authorities working cooperatively to deliver the homes the region desperately needs.

So what approach should organisations take to realise financial viability and achieve overall delivery of their projects?

At M. Lambe Construction, we recommend engaging with us as early as possible. Through early contractor involvement (ECI), we can work with you to evaluate the design, identify and eliminate any undue risks: to establish the most ‘economical and time efficient’ programme.

A good example is at Bellway Homes’ Hanwell View housing development in Banbury. Our £25m civil engineering contract was for the formation of 512 foundation bases, 3.3km of new adoptable roads and 840m off site sewer connections.

The main challenge was the construction of a 68,000m3 engineered acoustic bund protecting the new housing development from the noise of the nearby M40 Motorway. The bund was positioned immediately adjacent to the motorway.

We value engineered site-won material – that would otherwise have been destined for a landfill site – back into the scheme. By adopting this approach, we were able to maximise the quantity of materials retained on site and reduce lorry movements: delivering imported material to site and transporting waste to a landfill.

So, if you’d like to procure a civil engineering and groundworks specialist, who will work with you in collaboration to deliver projects to the highest levels of quality, health and safety and environmental management, complete the form below and send us your details or call us on 0121 554 2108 to talk with one of our experts.


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