Black Country development blueprint set for public consultation

Black Country Garden City

A blueprint plotting the development of the Black Country over the next 20 years is set for public consultation.

The Black Country Core Strategy outlines how many houses need to be built and how to plan for the number of extra jobs needed in a growing population. It also looks at where new homes and businesses should be located.

The original document was launched six years ago and covers the period up to 2026.

The four Black Country councils – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton – are voting on the document this month with the expectation being it will be put out for public consultation next month.

The council scrutiny follows a revision of the document, extending its timeframe to 2036.

The public consultation, which is expected to last for 10 weeks, will be used to produce a proposed review document, which will again go out to consultation next summer.

Cllr Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration at Dudley Council, said: “As the historic capital of the Black Country, Dudley will play an important role in the economic future of our region. The population will continue to grow in the borough over the next 20 years, and with that will come a need for more homes and more jobs.

“This document will lay out where those homes should go and also where new employment land should be sited. It’s important people tell us what they think and we would urge people to get in touch.”

Alan Lunt, strategic director for place at Dudley Council and lead officer for the review, said: “The Black Country Core Strategy is an overarching planning and regeneration document for our region.

“The current strategy was adopted as the country emerged from a global recession and the Black Country was recovering from a period of economic and population decline.

“This document now needs to be reviewed. It is expected there will be both population and economic growth over the next 20 years and that brings a need for new development sites to accommodate this.”