Released: August 10, 2021

Leader insists its brownfield first with public consultation to start on major housing plan

The City of Wolverhampton Council Leader has reiterated his brownfield development first message ahead of public consultation on the future of housing plans in the region starting on Monday.

The consultation on the latest phase of the Black Country Plan will open on August 16 and Councillor Ian Brookfield is urging people to get involved and help protect greenbelt land in the city.

The government projects that the Black Country will need just over 76,000 new homes over the next 20 years. To support this growth, it also needs 560 hectares of land to accommodate new jobs by 2039. This is equivalent to 835 football fields.

The upcoming consultation will give people the chance to have their say on the proposed sites for development and where they think new development should be in the Black Country.

Councillor Brookfield, said: “This is the next phase in the process to develop a new regeneration plan for the Black Country - something all local authorities are required to do by Government.

“Potential sites for development have now been earmarked and during that process our focus has very much been on selecting sites available within the urban area and minimising the impact on the green belt and the environment by not including sites like the Seven Cornfields.

“Only 11% of land in Wolverhampton is green belt and keeping as much of this green belt as possible is hugely important to our new climate strategy and supporting our carbon neutral challenge. Every inch of brownfield land in the city has been included in this plan.

“While shaping the future of housing and the growth of businesses, we will do everything we can to protect our precious green spaces and I will continue to ask Government to reassess the number of new homes they expect the Black Country to deliver.

“In Wolverhampton, our focus is on developing brownfield sites, which we have an excellent track record in doing when funding is available to remediate the land, such as Bilston Urban Village, Springfield Campus and Canalside.

“It must be remembered that no final decision has yet been made on any of the sites put forward in the draft plan, which the public are now being consulted on.”

The draft Black Country plan outlines potential future developments across the Black Country and is now being consulted on by the four Black Country councils – Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall.

The plan aims to identify land for housing and employment purposes across the Black Country while continuing to protect green belt land from developers.

The consultation will run from August 16 to October 11, 2021. Find out more at blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk