Solihull facing Birmingham housing overspill and Greenbelt review
Photo by lydia_shiningbrightly of Flickr
2nd December 2013
SOLIHULL Council is set to agree to helping meet Birmingham's overspill housing needs and the possible 'review' of the Greenbelt - The Observer can exclusively reveal.
The Council is set to formally 'adopt' its Local Plan - the principal planning document which sets out how and where the borough should develop in the future - tomorrow night (Tuesday).
But ahead of the meeting The Observer uncovered the shocking revelation in the Secretary of State's report on the Local Plan following a detailed review.
In his report the inspector insisted on the inclusion of the following paragraphs in the Local Plan before the Council could adopt it:
"Following discussions falling under the Duty to Cooperate Solihull Council recognise that evidence is emerging to indicate that Birmingham will not be able to accommodate the whole of its new housing requirement for 2011-31 within its administrative boundary and that some provision will need to be made in adjoining areas to help meet Birmingham’s needs.
"Solihull Council will work collaboratively with Birmingham and other relevant neighbouring local authorities and with the GBSLEP to establish objectively the level of long term growth through jointly commissioning a Strategic Housing Needs Study, and work to establish the scale and distribution of any emerging housing shortfall.
"This may require a review of the Green Belt in relevant locations.
"It is anticipated that a Strategic Housing Needs Study will be commissioned and prepared during 2013 as evidence to inform the development of a GBSLEP strategy (Strategic Spatial Framework).
"This would provide a high level context for reviewing the Solihull Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) during 2014.
"In the event that the work identifies that further provision is needed in Solihull, a review of the Solihull Local Plan will be brought forward to address this."
Cabinet Member for Economic Development Ian Courts declined to comment ahead of Tuesday's meeting where he was set to present and discuss the plan to fellow councillors.
But the council did provide us with the following comment from a spokesperson: "In line with the statutory Duty to Co-operate, the Council will continue to work closely with adjoining local planning authorities and through the Local Enterprise Partnership.
"This work will help to inform any future review of the plan that would be subject to the usual consultation processes.
"In the meantime, as it stands, the Plan will provide certainty for local residents and developers with a clear five-year housing land supply to meet the needs of the borough."
Details of an already-planned 11,018 new homes for Solihull up to 2028 are already included in the Local Plan - any extra homes to cater for Birmingham overspill would be additional to this.
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