Meeting the needs of local people and families in the West Midlands is a major challenge.
However, progress is being made with record regional housebuilding with 9483 homes being built in the region last year.
Here are how many houses were built in each area of the West Midlands:
Birmingham - 4,187
Dudley - 753
Sandwell - 784
Solihull - 798
Walsall - 770
Wolverhampton - 692
I have championed a regional “brownfield first” approach to housing and is making progress regionally, winning £350million of Government funding to clean up derelict sites – funding topped up with another £84million this summer to keep up the pace.
I have also pressed to see 20% of new homes built as affordable and changed the definition of “affordable” locally to be linked to local pay – bringing them within reach of more people.
In Birmingham, I am supporting local campaigners and communities campaigning to defend their green spaces from being sold off and developed by the Labour Council – like Short Heath playing fields.
I am also working with Birmingham Northfield MP Gary Sambrook to win more brownfield funding from Government to ensure the completion of the Longbridge redevelopment and the provision of more homes on this key brownfield site.
I am campaigning with local Conservative Councillors in Coventry, led by Cllr. Gary Ridley, to make the Council to review its Local Plan. To require a “brownfield first” policy to be enforced by the Council – instead of letting green fields like Eastern Green, Keresley and Kings Hill be developed.
Also, work is continuing to support local communities in Dudley, like Gornal, Halesowen, Kingswinford & Wall Heath, Sedgley, Stourbridge and Wordsley in defending their local Green Belt – alongside local Conservative Councillors and local MPs Marco Longhi, James Morris, Suzanne Webb and Mike Wood. Instead promoting more brownfield sites – like the regeneration of Dudley town centre.
I am also working with local MP’s Shaun Bailey, James Morris and Nicola Richards to promote brownfield first in Sandwell – with regional funding to enable 750 homes to be built at Friar Park and also to bring housing into town centres like West Bromwich – reducing the pressure on our prized green spaces.
I am supporting bringing more homes into the town centre as part of the regeneration plans in Sutton Coldfield. By pursuing “brownfield first” I aim to avoid a repeat of the Labour City Council’s decision to hand over swathes of Green Belt land to development at Langley.
In Walsall, I’m working with Conservative Walsall Council and MPs Eddie Hughes and Wendy Morton to deliver brownfield first in the borough – with new homes on sites like the old Caparo factory and Harvestime bakery in the town centre, helping protect Green Belt sites like those around Pheasey and Streetly.
And finally, in Wolverhampton, I am continuing to work with MPs Stuart Anderson and Jane Stevenson to deliver brownfield first – with new homes on derelict sites in the City centre, helping protect Green Belt sites like Linthouse Lane and the Seven Cornfields.
I have also responded to the Government’s consultation on planning policy calling for greater protection for the Green Belt.