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Minister welcomes housing plans during construction site inspection

Minister welcomes housing plans during construction site inspection

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has welcomed the blueprint for the 'Midlands Engine' economy and the commitment to build 600,000 homes by 2030 that forms a key part of it.

The minister spoke approvingly of the scheme while on a visit to the site of a 6,200-home project in Rugby with chair of the Midlands Engine Partnership Sir John Peace.

He was visiting the old Radio station site in Rugby, one of the largest brownfield plots in the Midlands, which will be turned into the new town of Houlton. The name has been chosen in tribute to the Massachusetts town of the same name where the first transatlantic radio signal was received. 

Both men spoke about how building more homes is a key part of developing the economy in the West Midlands region. 

Sir John said: "Building these homes is not only necessary to attracting and retaining the workforce of the future, it will also contribute directly to increased productivity."

Highlighting the importance of "good quality housing", Mr Javid commented: "It's a key theme to the Midlands Engine and that’s why it’s great to see the start of 6,200 homes being built here in Rugby."

The plans published by the Midlands Engine Partnership envisage adding £54 billion extra in value to the UK economy by 2030, much of which will require substantial construction investment to achieve.

As well as new homes, transport spending and the creation of workplaces will also feature in the development of the economy. 

The transport aspect will include HS2 and the extension of the Midland Metro Tram system, with new developments in the later including line extensions in central Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and out to Dudley.

Some new housing and industrial plans have caused controversy, however. Although West Midlands mayor Andy Street has pledged a 'brownfield first' approach to development, Birmingham City Council's housing plans include using green belt land in Sutton Coldfield, with 6,000 homes planned for Langley and an industrial estate at Peddimore.

Image: iStock


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