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Councils split over Black Country request for more housing

By Dominic Robertson | Property | Published:

Black Country councils have asked neighbouring authorities in Shropshire if they can supply land to help meet a shortfall in space for houses.

Black Country councils have asked authorities in Shropshire if they can help meet their housing shortfall

But the two councils covering Shropshire now appear to be at odds over the plans.

Last month, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed to look at seeing if it could provide land for development after a request from the Association of Black Country Authorities (ABCA), which said it did not have enough space.

It is believed potential development land off the M54, in the Tong area, and around Cosford, is being suggested by Shropshire Council as a means of making up for the shortfall.

But now letters detailing the request from ABCA, in July, have emerged that reveal Telford & Wrekin Council responded by saying there was no evidence to support the request. Shropshire Council’s response says there is “merit in further discussion” on the matter.

ABCA represents Dudley Council, Walsall Council, Sandwell Council and Wolverhampton Council.

A letter sent by ABCA in July stated: “Current estimates are we may have a shortfall in the region of 22,000 dwellings and 300 ha of employment land.

“We are asking for your authority to consider whether it would be able and willing to accommodate any identified housing and employment development needs arising from the Black Country?”

Telford & Wrekin Council managing director, Richard Partington, in response, added: “Your letter does not provide the council with any further evidence to support a case for Telford & Wrekin to contribute to meeting your unmet housing need.”

Shropshire Council’s chief executive Clive Wright said the authority was willing to discuss the possibility of using land.

He said: “We recognise there is merit in further discussion about the potential for Shropshire to help meet cross boundary needs from the Black Country.”

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