26th Mar 2024|Land|News|

New WMCA and Homes England Collaboration is set to Boost the West Midlands Property Market

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Homes England have entered into a collaborative agreement aimed at accelerating brownfield development, utilising a portion of the £400 million in devolved funds.

This agreement formalises the West Midlands Strategic Place Partnership (SPP), a joint initiative between the WMCA, consisting of 18 councils, and the government agency Homes England. The objective of the SPP is to facilitate the creation of 12,000 homes on brownfield land.

According to a spokesperson from WMCA, the SPP commits both entities to collaborate on the remediation of challenging and stalled brownfield sites, as well as investing in the construction of high-quality, affordable, and future-proof homes. This partnership is integral to the broader ‘deeper devolution deal’, which has earmarked £400 million to enhance housing delivery across the region.

To date, nearly 33% of all new homes constructed with WMCA investments have been affordable. Notably, the West Midlands remains the sole region on course to achieve its housing targets, with a goal of 215,000 new homes by 2031.

Andy Butts, New Homes & Investments Director said:

“This is great news for the midlands and for the development of new homes. It’s initiatives like this and the continued growth of the midlands economy that makes it such a clear choice for so many individuals and families. From a development perspective I know this will be well received by many developers seeking land on which to continue to build.” 

What Does This Mean For The West Midlands Property Market?

This collaboration between Homes England and the West Midlands Combined Authority spells fantastic news for the West Midlands property market. As many buyers are aware of, there is a significant undersupply of housing across the UK, and the Midlands is no exception. Despite the government’s aim to build 300,000 new homes each year, there still remains a deficit of over 4.3 million homes in the UK property market. Even if we construct 300,000 homes per year, it could take half a century to actually supply the number of properties the UK population needs. This isn’t to mention that the population of the UK is expanding rapidly and is set to hit 74 million by 2036, adding further pressure to the UK property market.

Such pressure has left many organisations such as Homes England, the WMCA and independent developers searching for opportunities to construct viable homes to tackle this severe undersupply. However, with development land in city cores and thriving regional towns already having been snapped up to construct the houses of the future, where are developers supposed to look to next? The answer could be brownfield land (or at least part of the answer) – a plot that has been developed upon in the past, but is not currently in use. This could include structures that have since been made vacant, or demolished plots.

Of course, there are obstacles to overcome when it comes to utilising brownfield land for constructing new properties – something that our Land team are particularly well-versed in – such as risk hazards, decontamination and working to repurpose old features to make them ‘home worthy’. However, with £400 million now devolved to the West Midlands via the Deeper Devolution Deal, it seems that the region will start to actively repurpose brownfield land more than ever.

As a company working towards B-Corp status, ESG is high on our agenda as well as many of our housing developer, the Centrick team are extremely passionate about redeveloping brownfield plots. We believe that brownfield plots are fantastic options for developers, if they have the best guidance from our Land team, that can provide new and affordable housing in a sustainable way that does not touch our valuable greenbelt. 

Our Land and Development Consultancy professionals have the capacity to advise on all facets of the development process, starting from acquisition, through planning considerations, product assortment, and densities, culminating in the formulation of a disposal strategy or further development plans. Our team take a forward-thinking approach in identifying market opportunities and possesses an extensive understanding of the Midlands’ land market dynamics. If you’d like to find out more about our experience with brownfield plots, explore our or wish to chat to a member of the team about how we can help you in your next development pursuit, get in touch via the form below:

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