Land – they’re not making it any more – how to use it effectively in the West Mids

Have you got a minute to contribute your thoughts to the West Midlands Combined Authority Land Commission call for evidence? Deadline is 14th Oct.

It will consider “what measures could be initiated and undertaken to ensure an improved supply of developable land which supports the growth ambitions of business, the housing needs of residents, and the future diversification of the local economy.”

messagetotheplanners (2)If you think providing affordable homes in quality settlements is important… or safeguarding good farmland… or ensuring people don’t have to travel long distances to work… or that we live in quality places were we can access community facilities easily… or protecting the services the land and soil and its wildlife provide to ensure our survival… or keeping land in public or common ownership… or if you don’t think local authorities should be bribed to accept poor development…  then it would be great if you could make a response as there won’t be many contributions making these points.

snouts-in-troughOn the other hand if you’re a large developer wanting to make a case for the release of greenfield land in unsustainable locations so you can carry on building exclusive homes that don’t meet society’s needs in any way, then I wouldn’t worry – there should be lots of responses like this already!

Three points from LWM’s response:

– greater use of the Community Land Trust and similar models to keep land in common ownership and lock in the value for the community.

– Excessive release of greenfield sites will undermine the attractiveness of some of the more crucial brownfield sites, leaving areas blighted, reducing quality density and leading to damagingly dispersed land use and travel patterns.

– The old regional policy of “reducing the need to travel” should be a WMCA policy when considering all new development land.

Plenty more points to make.

Karen Leach

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