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Pressure on Bromsgrove to provide second city homes
12:00pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in News
PRESSURE is growing on Bromsgrove to house the rising population of Birmingham, it has emerged.
Birmingham City Council has revealed it plans to build 70,000 new homes to meet its housing need, but the council has admitted space is only available for 43,000 new homes in the city’s built up areas.
The housing need has increased as the city’s population is expected to grow by around 100,000, to 1.1 million, and new Office of National Statistics projections suggest this figure could rise even higher.
At the last city council meeting Ian Ward, the authority’s deputy leader, said talks had begun with neighbouring authorities, including Bromsgrove, to see if they could relieve some of the growth pressure.
Coun Ward said talks were being carried out through the duty to co-operate rule in the new Localism Act, meaning Bromsgrove is legally required to be part of the discussions.
Councillor Kit Taylor, whose portfolio includes planning, said the proposal would be considered with the effects on Bromsgrove residents in mind.
“They can look at Bromsgrove as an option,” he said.
“There are ramifications that will need to be looked at.
“In a nutshell, if it benefits the people of Bromsgrove it will be considered, if it doesn’t it will be resisted.”
Leader of the opposition Labour party, Peter McDonald, said: “It is all speculation, I have heard this all before.
“For decades the council’s inaction, in not building affordable homes, has meant working people always lose out.”
Meanwhile, Bromsgrove could benefit from a new sharing agreement with Birmingham City Council, for new homes being built on Longbridge’s former MG Rover plant.
Under agreed unique nomination rights, both authorities nominate potential residents for up to half of all the affordable housing.
The site crosses the boundaries of both authorities, but under the agreement a home could physically fall anywhere in the entire Longbridge development.
The scheme has been scrutinised by the district council’s overview and scrutiny board and its chairman, Steve Colella, described it as a potential groundbreaking achievement.