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  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy

    Phase Two Revision

    Report of the Panel: Volume 1 - Report September 2009 Examination in Public 28th April 24th June 2009

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009






    Chapter 1 The Context for the Phase Two Revision Introduction The Role of Government The Phased Revision Programme Inter-regional Issues Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulations Assessment Recommendations

    8 8 9 10 14 14


    Chapter 2 Principles, Objectives and Spatial Strategy Introduction Climate Change Policy SR1 Creating Sustainable Communities Policy SR2 Sustainable Design and Construction Policy SR3 Spatial Strategy Principles Spatial Strategy Objectives Role and Status of the Spatial Strategy Settlements of Significant Development (SSDs) New Settlements Rural Renaissance Recommendations

    23 23 23 26 31 33 37 39 40 43 45 45

    Chapter 3 The Regional Housing Provision Approach to the Regional Housing Provision The Preferred Option Housing Provision Household Projections Vacancies and Second Homes Affordability and the NHPAU Advice Assessments of Need and Demand Unmet Need and Backlog Environmental Issues and the Sustainability Appraisal The Theoretical Housing Requirement Deliverability and Trajectory Spatial Distribution Conclusions on the Regional Housing Total and its Distribution Recommendations

    55 55 56 58 63 64 65 67 69

    72 73 79 82


    Chapter 4 Delivering Homes and Communities Introduction Phasing of Housing Land Land for Housing

    90 90 90 93

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009

    Previously Developed Land Efficient Use of Land Affordable Housing Mixed Communities Recommendations

    97 98 98 105 107

    Chapter 5 Prosperity for All - Employment and Economic

    Development Policies General Policies and Employment Land Provision Regional Investment Sites (RIS) - Policy PA7 Major Investment Sites (MIS) - Policy PA8 Regional Logistics Sites (RLS) - Policy PA9 Town and City Centres Policies PA11, PA12A and PA12B Out of Centre Retail Development - Policy PA13 Office Development Policies PA13A and PA13B Recommendations


    113 118 120 121 125

    130 130 132

    Chapter 6 Waste Policies

    Introduction Regional Waste Strategy Targets for Waste Management Facilities for Waste Management Broad Locations for Waste Management Facilities Other Issues Recommendations

    138 138 138 138 139 141 143 143

    Chapter 7 Transport and Accessibility

    General Issues The Strategic Context for Transport Park & Ride and Car Parking Policies T6 and T7 Airports Policy T11 Priorities for Investment Policy T12 Recommendations

    146 146

    147 149 153 155

    Chapter 8 Sub-regional Strategy

    Preliminary Matters Sub-regional Structure

    (a) The Central Core of the West Midlands Conurbation Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country

    (b) Coventry and Warwickshire (c) The remaining surrounds of the West

    Midlands Conurbation Worcestershire, Southern & Eastern Staffordshire and Telford & Wrekin

    (d) North Staffordshire (e) The Rural West Shropshire and

    Herefordshire Summary Recommendations

    164 164 165 168

    176 191

    213 214

    218 219

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009

    Chapter 9 Implementation and Monitoring Introduction Monitoring Implementation Recommendations

    231 231 231 235 237

    Abbreviations 239

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009


    Preface This is the report of the Examination in Public (EiP) that we were appointed to hold into the Draft Phase 2 Revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy (the RSS) for the West Midlands. The Phase 1 revision is already incorporated into the existing RSS dated January 2008.

    The West Midlands Regional Assembly submitted the Phase 2 Preferred Option to the Secretary of State in December 2007. The consultation period, which was extended to allow respondents to take account of the Governments study Development of Options for the West Midlands RSS in Response to the NHPAU Report (the NLP study), finally closed on 8 December 2008. There were a total of 692 respondents to the submission consultation making approximately 4,150 points of response.

    Thereafter we set about arranging, conducting and reporting on the Examination in Public as expeditiously as possible. The key stages were:

    Publication of draft Matters and Participants: 20 January 2009

    First Preliminary Meeting 27 January 2009

    Technical Seminar Session on Housing Issues 28 January 2009

    Final list of Matters and Participants issued 13 March 2009

    Second Preliminary Meeting 18 March 2009

    Technical Seminar Session on Habitat

    Regulations and Water Issues 18 March 2009

    Examination in Public opening 28 April 2009

    Examination in Public close (day 23) 24 June 2009

    Three additional days were spent on Panel tours to various localities in the region.

    A total of over 180 organisations and individuals participated at the EiP (in addition to the Section 4(4) authorities and other local planning authorities). The Section 4(4) authorities had the opportunity to contribute to every session and every local planning authority in the region was given the opportunity to participate in the relevant sub-regional sessions. The Preliminary Meetings, seminar sessions and the Examination itself were held at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Following the close of the EiP we completed and submitted this report via the Planning Inspectorate by mid-September 2009.

    During this process new announcements and items of information continued to appear. Information that came out after submission of the Draft Phase 2 Revision but before the close of the EiP was able to be taken into account by the Panel and participants. The relevant documents were included in the EiP Library List, and we refer to them as necessary in this report. An important announcement was the publication by CLG in March 2009 of new 2006-based Household Projections. In order that these could

  • West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase Two Revision Report of the Panel: September 2009


    be properly considered we devoted the first session of Matter 3A on 6 May 2009 to a technical discussion of the new projections. After the close of the EiP certain other announcements emerged, including the final PPS on Eco-towns, updated NHPAU advice and new mid-year population estimates. We have not specifically taken any account of these or other material emerging after the close of the EiP. We do not believe, however, that there is anything in publications issued prior to submission of our report that would have caused us to reach materially different conclusions or recommendations.

    This report is not intended to give a full account of the Matters discussed in the EiP, although it generally follows the same order, with the main Chapter numbers corresponding to the numbers of the EiP Matters. We draw upon points made in discussion and in various submitted documents in order to show how we arrive at our conclusions. The order of the report also for the most part follows the order in which the relevant policies occur in the RSS document. Where we depart from the structure of the RSS is in Chapter 8 which contains our conclusions and recommendations arising from the sub-regional matters, which relate to the spatial strategy, housing and other policies.

    Where we recommend changes to RSS policies our recommendations give specific wording. In relation to the supporting text the recommendations set out points which we consider should be covered, but do not give detailed wording except where this is the best way to convey what is required. The recommendations themselves are brought together at the end of each Chapter, with each one referenced at the appropriate point in the text. We have not generally sought to give a summary of our reasoning and conclusions alongside the recommendations. Extensive though some of the Chapters are we consider they are the minimum necessary to give the supporting arguments for our recommendations. However, in the Overview below we have picked out key points and lessons, some of which go wider than the specific recommendations.


    We would like to record our thanks to all who participated in the EiP for their contributions and for the co-operation of all involved in responding to the Panels requirements and requests. We are particularly grateful to the West Midlands Regional Assemblys team, led by John Pattinson, for the helpful way in which they responded to the demands of the EiP and to the Panels requests for information. We acknowledge also the helpful contribution of Ian Smith and colleagues at the Government Office for the West Midlands. We would like especially to thank all concerned at Wolverhampton Wanderers for providing a welcoming and efficient venue at the Molineux Stadium, and Venue Services Ltd for the sound system and recording. Our thanks are due to our Planning Officers Chris White and Mike Harris of the Planning Inspectorate for their support in preparing for and conducting the EiP and in the production of the report, and to our Panel Assi


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