MPs examine West Midlands housing and economic development

08 March 2010

The West Midlands Committee holds an evidence session as part of its inquiry into housing and economic development in the West Midlands. Watch live from 4.15pm.

Witnesses

4.15pm

  • Highways Agency
  • Environment Agency
  • West Midlands Leaders' Board
  • Government Office for the West Midlands
  • Homes and Communities Agency

The West Midlands Select Committee is examining issues relating to the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) as work on the strategy reaches its completion and as the new Single Regional Strategy (SRS) is introduced as its replacement.

The Committee is interested in the following issues:

  • What the change from the RSS/RES to the Single Regional Strategy (SRS) will mean for planning authorities at regional and local level. Are there any benefits or risks for the single Regional Plan process?
  • Whether strategic planning in the West Midlands should continue to be set at the regional level, and whether it has an appreciable influence over development in the region?
  • Is the method used to derive the overall number of houses to be provided in the region still appropriate, or are there any potentially better alternatives? Could a better Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) process in the region lead to better regional estimates?
  • How local authorities will approach the task of providing different types of housing for their own areas within the broad quantities they are allocated?
  • Whether central government is providing adequate guidance and support to bodies involved in housing delivery, and what role the Homes and Communities Agency plays in the strategic planning process?
  • Whether the aim of achieving urban renaissance through directing housing growth to, for example, the Black Country, is achievable, and whether it is appropriate in current economic circumstances?
  • How the new Single Regional Strategy might contribute to housing market renewal in the Housing Market Pathfinder Areas and elsewhere?
  • How the RSS and the new SRS can assist sustainable growth and the development of sustainable communities (as envisaged in the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan) throughout the region?

Image: iStockphoto

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