Metro Dynamics are acting as strategic advisor and secretariat to the West Midlands Land Commission (WMLC). The role of the West Midlands Land Commission is to take a fresh look at matters affecting the West Midlands' land supply.
The commission will provide independent advice and recommendations to the authority as it seeks to secure an improved and balanced supply of land to meet its goals for economic growth, new jobs and housing.
The WMCA’s commitment to the Land Commission was outlined in the Autumn 2015 Devolution Deal. In that document, the Government outlined its support for the Land Commission and agreed to work with the WMCA in undertaking the Commission.
The Terms of Reference for the Commission can be found here.
The closing date for receipt of written evidence is September 30, 2016.
West Midlands Combined Authority launches Land Commission
An independent commission to look at ways of ensuring an improved supply of land for future development was today (September 8) launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The West Midlands Land Commission (WMLC) will take a fresh look at matters affecting land supply.
It will consider measures which could be initiated and undertaken to improve the availability of sites which can support the growth ambitions of business, the housing needs of residents and the future diversification of the region’s economy.
The scope of the WMLC will extend to public and private sector land in the area covered by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP. It will cover land for both housing and employment uses.
Paul Marcuse, a senior and highly respected figure in the real estate sector, has agreed to chair the WMLC. The other commissioners are:
- Jerome Frost – leader of Arup’s UK & EMEA consulting business, and former head of design and regeneration for the Olympic Delivery Authority
- Bruce Mann – executive director of the Cabinet Office’s Government Property Unit
- Bill Oliver – retiring chief executive of St Modwen Properties, one of the UK’s leading regeneration companies
- Bridget Rosewell – the prominent UK economist and a member of the National Infrastructure Commission
The commission today released a ‘Call for Evidence’ seeking evidence on a number of lines of enquiry which are designed to consider the challenges in developing land, identifying blockages in the system and to recommend measures which could be implemented to secure a sufficient supply of land for development.
The closing date for receipt of written evidence is September 30.
The commission expects to report to the WMCA before the end of the year and to publish its report early in 2017.
Cllr Sean Coughlan, WMCA lead for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, said: “We can’t make any more land and that means we need to make the very best use of the land we have.
“The WMLC will provide an opportunity to consider the many aspects which affect the supply and usage of land across the West Midlands.
“In launching the commission we have assembled a team of leading practitioners in the property and infrastructure arena.
“I know they are looking forward to hearing the views of the many stakeholders across the West Midlands who are interested in the outcome of this work. I look forward to working with the commission over the coming months.”
Mr Marcuse added: “WMLC is being established at a time of unprecedented opportunity for the region.
“A combination of the recent establishment of the WMCA and its devolution deal with Government and the very significant infrastructure investment being planned for the region provides a singular opportunity to review the wealth of complex issues affecting the supply of land.
“I am delighted to have been invited to chair the WMLC and look forward to working with Cllr Coughlan and colleagues from local government, the real estate industry, and employers across the region as we jointly address the many issues which affect the supply of land in the West Midlands.”
For further information on the West Midlands Land Commission, please visit https://westmidlandscombinedauthority.org.uk/what-we-do/commissions/land/
Notes for editors:
- The terms of reference for the West Midlands Land Commission can be viewed here
- The commission is being advised by Sarah Whitney at Metro Dynamics, the leading city economic and strategy consultancy
- Bilfinger GVA has been appointed to advise the commission on local real estate markets
- The West Midlands Devolution Deal was signed on November 17, 2015 and includes £40 million a year funding from Government to the WMCA, driving an £8 billion investment package aimed at improving productivity and skills, delivering new transport infrastructure and homes and increasing the general prosperity of the region’s four million people
- The West Midland Combined Authority was created on June 17, 2016 and comprises of;
Birmingham City Council, City of Wolverhampton Council, Coventry City Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.
Non-constituent authorities with reduced voting rights:
Cannock Chase District Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Redditch Borough Council, Tamworth Borough Council, Telford and Wrekin Council
LEPs (Local Enterprise Partnerships) are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses. They determine local economic priorities and lead on economic growth and job creation within their areas. They are:
Black Country LEP, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP
Observer organisations awaiting membership:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Shropshire Council
6. Subject to Parliamentary processes, a mayor for the West Midlands will be elected in May 2017