The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a £350m land remediation and housing deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority to support the delivery of new homes across the region.
Unveiled during his Spring Statement, Phillip Hammond’s financial commitment will help unlock substantial amounts of contaminated brownfield sites and provide additional land capacity for the provision of 215,000 new homes by 2031.
A release from the West Midlands Combined Authority can be read here – but in summary, the funding will help provide:
- Greater connectivity: upgrades to infrastructure to support the delivery of priority sites, including Greater Icknield in Birmingham, Smethwick area in Sandwell; Kings Hill, Westwood Heath and Coventry Ring Road Junction 7 in Coventry; UK Central development in Solihull, and The Commonwealth Games Athletes’ village in Perry Barr, Birmingham.
- More new homes: an increase in output across the West Midlands from 10,000 to 16,000 homes per annum.
- More affordable housing: a platform for Central Government to work with Housing Associations to find better ways of building and financing cheaper homes.
- Construction skills training: a new Brownfield Remediation and Construction Skills centre of excellence, which will provide construction skills training and research new methods of construction.
- Brownfield regeneration: a £100m Land Fund for the acquisition and decontamination of priority sites ready for housing, including a minimum of 8,000 new homes along the Walsall to Wolverhampton corridor.
The challenge facing the Great Birmingham Housing Market Area (HMA)
According to new research, titled ‘The Greater Birmingham HMA Strategic Growth study’, a minimum level of 205,000 houses is required between 2011 and 2031. Achieving the projected amount will call for the building of new homes at higher densities than are being reached today.
The main challenge: land capacity. Developers and local authorities are hamstrung by a limited availability of sustainable land. Many local authorities are experiencing a housing shortfall in provision – Birmingham 37,900 (2011 – 2031) and the Black Country up to 22,000 (2016 – 36). Cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites around existing sustainable transport links and releasing them for housing, will assist local planning authorities in tackling the shortfall. Achieving the three principals of sustainable development when plan making – economic, social and environmental – will be significantly increased. But more importantly, financial viability of the development will be realised and the developer will secure a profit.
At M. Lambe Construction, we recommend engaging with us right from the start to ensure your land remediation strategy is the most cost efficient possible.
An example is at Miller Homes’ Hadley Park scheme in Telford, where the initial design included a surplus of 7,406m3 (16,293 tonne approx.) of material to go off site to a landfill. We worked with our client to put together an alternative solution that retained as much of the materials on site and significantly reduced landfill costs. The material was graded, chemically tested and deemed suitable as fill on one of our local projects.
So, to work with a specialist contractor who has the experience and expertise to help regenerate your brownfield site, fill out the contact form below or call us on 0121 554 2108 to talk with one of our experts.