Draft Plan Consultation: Additional Housing Sites in Walsall (Regulation 18)

Ended on the 5 September 2022

What does this mean for Walsall?

The 2021 Draft Plan (Regulation 18) consultation for Walsall proposed land to provide an additional 13,344 new homes and 164ha of employment land over the period to 2039.

This consultation held in July – September 2022, proposes an additional 820 new homes over the period to 2039. The responses received though this consultation will be analysed, and used to inform the content of the Regulation 19 Publication Plan.

Why are we proposing to develop in the Green Belt?

The green belt around the Black Country forms part of the West Midlands Green Belt which has been in place since 1975. Green belt is a national planning designation and national policy strictly controls which types of development can take place within it.

The Black Country councils attach great importance to the green belt. However, the green belt boundary is drawn tightly around the urban edges. To help meet our future housing and employment land needs, there is an exceptional circumstance to alter the green belt boundaries through the Black Country Plan review process, to release land for housing and employment development. It is proposed to remove 6% of the green belt area in the Black Country for development.

The Councils have undertaken an extensive review of the green belt, taking into account evidence on historical, ecological and landscape value and local character. A comprehensive site assessment process has taken place to ensure that all sites selected for removal from the green belt can deliver sustainable development and the necessary supporting infrastructure by 2039 and will not cause harm to the natural or historic character of the Black Country or breach any other planning policies. Where sites are removed from the green belt, developers will be required to pay for improvements to the environmental quality and accessibility of remaining green belt land nearby

Are we able to build all future housing and employment land in the Black Country?

No. We need to find enough land to build 76,076 homes and provide 565 ha of new employment land. The land we identified in the Draft Plan document in 2021 made provision for 47,837 homes and 354ha of employment land, allowing most of our housing and employment land needs to be met in the Black Country. However, there was a shortfall of 28,239 homes and 211 ha of employment land as we do not have enough land available to accommodate all of our development needs.

The Government requires neighbouring local authorities to work together to meet housing and employment land needs when producing Local Plans – this is called the "Duty to Cooperate". Under the Duty to Cooperate, we are asking neighbouring authorities, such as South Staffordshire, Lichfield, Cannock Chase, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, to provide additional housing and employment land in their areas to meet the needs of the Black Country. Currently there have been offers from neighbouring authorities of between 8,000 to 9,500 homes and 102- 173 ha of employment land to be tested through their own Local Plan reviews.

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