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Planning changes could boost regeneration in region

West Midlands MPs are hoping to spearhead changes to planning rules to help drive regeneration in the region and create jobs.

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Members of the West Midlands All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the MPs will be writing to businesses and organisations to gain expert views and ideas for reform as part of their push for change.

The inquiry will look to remove barriers and limitations to development within the region and explore the potential of growth offered by already existing infrastructure.

Other considerations of the inquiry will include how to balance the demand for thousands of with protecting the greenbelt, speeding up the delivery of approved developments.

Several green belt sites have come under threat in the Black Country and surrounding areas have come under threat from developers, resulting in opposition from high-profile figures such as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

And part of the inquiry will look to identify sites which are appropriate for development.

APPG co-chair Preet Kaur Gill, Labour MP for Birmingham Egbaston, said: “After a difficult few years for the West Midlands, it is important that we don’t simply settle for going back to business as usual.

"The economic recovery from Covid is an opportunity to develop new ideas to boost regeneration and create jobs and growth for the people who live and work in our region.

"This report will help us to understand how we can make better decisions about the buildings, transport and other facilities that the West Midlands needs. We look forward to hearing the views and ideas of local businesses and organisations on how we can make the most of our region’s huge potential.”

Co-chair of the APPG Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North said: “We want to be doing all that we can in Westminster to ensure that the West Midlands is a thriving place to live and work.

"Part of this is about understanding what the region needs in terms of housing, infrastructure and appropriate locations for business growth.

"This is why we are undertaking this report and are asking to hear from representatives in the region. Covid-19 has presented a separate challenge and economic recovery will be key to these conversations. We want to make a strong case to governments both regionally and nationally to support growth, businesses and people in our region ”

The inquiry was originally launched in 2019, but was originally delayed due to the General Election and later postponed due to to the pandemic.

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