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Birmingham to receive multi-million uplift for housing


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A multi-million-pound investment package to drive forward the next phase of a forward-thinking housing scheme in central Birmingham has been confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).


The funding commitment will now trigger detailed negotiations with award-winning developer House by Urban Splash to transform another six acres of derelict land at Port Loop in Icknield Port Road, Edgbaston, delivering a further 133 factory-built modular homes.


The Port Loop investment is the latest from the WMCA’s nationally acclaimed devolved housing and regeneration programme – providing new homes, jobs and commercial floorspace while supporting the West Midlands’ economic recovery from the Covid pandemic. 


Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Port Loop is a great example of how the West Midlands is leading the way nationally in bringing derelict former industrial land back into use for homes and jobs. By building affordable, low carbon homes, on sites like this, not only are we helping to protect the Green Belt while creating new jobs and communities, we’re also helping to tackle the region’s climate emergency as part of our #WM2041 plans.”


As with all WMCA investments, at least 20% of the new homes will be required to be classed as affordable under the combined authority’s own definition of affordability which is linked to real-world local wages rather than property prices.


The WMCA Board approval of the commitment into the next phase of the development follows a £4m investment by the combined authority last year into Phase 2 of Port Loop, which unlocked three acres of brownfield land and paved the way for Urban Splash to build 138 homes.


Guy Ackernley, the residential director at Urban Splash, commented: “In two short years, Port Loop has completely transformed. What was once a disused, rundown former industrial patch of land has fast become a vibrant, award-winning place in which hundreds of people now live, work and play.”


Last year the WMCA and Urban Splash signed a strategic partnership deal that aims to deliver almost five per cent of the 215,000 new homes the WMCA wants to see built in the region by 2031. The deal brings together public and private sector skills and investment to unlock complex brownfield sites and ease pressure on the Green Belt. It also involves Urban Splash investing in the acquisition, planning, promotion and delivery of housing development sites to deliver high quality, award-winning and sustainable communities at ‘scale and pace’.


Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, added: “We’re delivering affordable green homes for Birmingham’s growing population and Port Loop is a fantastic example of partnership working and innovation. This scheme has already won lots of well-deserved praise, and this next exciting phase continues the development of a unique new neighbourhood.”


Written by: David Watkins

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