The draft Black Country Plan was due to go out for consultation this autumn, but this will now happen in summer 2021.
The delay provides the region with another opportunity to identify potential sites for housing and employment developments which haven’t been put forward to date, particularly those in urban areas.
This call for sites will be open for six weeks from 9 July to 20 August. Anyone who has already submitted a site does not need to resubmit it, although they can update the information already provided, if necessary.
The updated timetable and details on how to submit a site can be found at https://blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk/t2/p1/
Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a need to revise the timetable for the emerging Black Country Plan, with the consultation scheduled for this coming autumn now taking place next summer.
“This has given us another opportunity to identify potential sites for development. We are keen to ensure we identify as much land as possible for assessment, particularly those pieces of land which have not already been identified within the urban area.
“While the Black Country Plan is about identifying the future needs of the region and ensuring we provide enough homes for people and places to work, having the plan will also give councils the power to protect our precious green spaces, as far as we possibly can. “Our brownfield first approach will make sure Sandwell plays a big part in shaping the future of housing and the growth of businesses within the Black Country.”
The government requires all local authorities to have an up-to-date 15-year plan to meet the development needs of an area and reflect the aspirations of local communities.
The current plan, previously known as the Black Country Core Strategy, lasts until 2026 and Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils are currently in the process of developing the Black Country Plan to 2039.
The plan is about making sure enough homes are built, there are the right homes in the right places for people of all incomes and it supports a thriving economy for future generations by creating jobs and improving transport and infrastructure. It also balances the need to plan for new homes and jobs with the need to continue to protect the important green and natural areas for people to enjoy.
It also balances the need to plan for new homes and jobs with the need to continue to protect the important green and natural areas for people to enjoy.
As part of this process, up-to-date evidence has been collated on a number of areas to help identify key issues and ensure the plan meets the development needs, challenges and opportunities for the region up to 2039.
This is published at blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk and the latest evidence to be added are studies on waste and minerals as well as a strategic flood risk assessment.
No decisions have yet been made about any sites. Once adopted, the strategy will outline where new homes and businesses should be built in the four Black Country boroughs to 2039.