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A Strategic Growth Study into the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Area, February 2018

Prepared by GL Hearn and Wood plc

Position Statement

  • The 14 local authorities comprising the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Area (GBBCHMA see section 1 below) commissioned consultancy team GL Hearn and Wood plc to undertake the above named study.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, this is an independently prepared, objective study and not a policy statement.  It does not in any way commit the participating authorities to development of any of the geographic areas referred to (nor does it exclude the testing of alternatives), but it is a thorough evidence base to take matters forward through the local plan review process.
  • It has been established that there is a shortfall in planned provision to meet housing requirements in the (GBBCHMA). The Birmingham Development Plan (BDP, adopted January 2017) quantified its shortfall as 37,900 (2011 – 31).
  • The BDP includes a policy requiring local authorities within the GBBCHMA to work together to address the shortfall and plans which preceded it included a commitment to review once its scale was confirmed.
  • Subsequently, the Black Country Core Strategy review Issues and Options document suggests there may be an emerging capacity shortfall of up to 22,000 dwellings (2016 – 36).
  • A series of technical studies have been undertaken culminating in the recent completion of this study. By means of summary the study:
    • Refreshes the housing demand parameters
    • Updates the collective housing capacity estimates
    • Considers the scope for increasing residential densities
    • Considers broad growth  locations  unconstrained by Green Belt policy
    • Considers broad growth locations which would require a formal review of Green Belt
  • 24 broad locations were identified in total, with 11 identified for further analysis.  All locations have been subjected to high level sustainability and infrastructure assessments.
  • This is a strategic study and considers ways to meet projected housing needs in terms of major developments, new settlements, urban extensions and ‘proportionate' dispersal with developments of 500 dwellings or more.  Large developments will take time to bring forward and there will be circumstances where smaller-scale developments might be accommodated in the Green Belt and where there would be pressure to deliver development to meet needs in the short to medium term.  Thus, the study does not mean that only large-scale Green Belt releases should be considered, nor that only those authorities where strategic developments are proposed would need to review their Green Belts.
  • The table (below) sets out the revised supply and demand position. Whilst it is apparent that the overwhelming majority of need is being met on previously developed land and that higher densities might increase supply on identified sites by up to 13,000 (subject to testing through Local Plans), a significant shortfall remains, particularly up to 2036.
  • Since the abolition of Regional Strategies, local authorities have a statutory obligation to resolve cross boundary matters through the Duty to Cooperate. Government is also proposing to introduce Statements of Common Ground whereby more specific commitments are made as to how and when such matters are resolved.

Greater Birmingham and Black Country HMA: Housing need, supply and shortfall

Housing need

Housing supply

2011 - 31

Housing shortfall

2011 - 36

Minimum need



Coventry / Warks. contribution

[see section 2]



Supply baseline



Minimum shortfall



Section 1. Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, Dudley, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Redditch, Sandwell, Solihull, South Staffordshire, Stratford upon Avon, Tamworth, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Section 2. North Warwickshire and Stratford-on-Avon – also fall within the Coventry & Warwickshire HMA, and have agreed to make provision for Coventry’s unmet housing needs. North Warwickshire is contributing 860 dwellings to meeting Coventry’s unmet needs to 2031 and Stratford-on-Avon 2,020 dwellings from Stratford-on-Avon, totalling 2,880 dwellings. Rolled forward to 2036 on a pro-rata basis, this would be 3,600 dwellings (2011-36).

Contact Details

For further information, please contact Mike Dunphy (Strategic Planning and Conservation Manager - Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council)

Phone: 01527 881325