Agencies and local authorities to work together.
The Black Country LEP is leading the way in developing a set of principles and an accreditation system to underpin the Black Country Garden City project in order to ensure housing quality across the more than 45,000 homes planned to be built over the next 10 years.
The Black Country LEP, the Homes and Communities Agency and the four Black Country local authorities are working together to create a 21st century Garden City in what will be one of Britain’s biggest ever brownfield site regeneration programmes, covering more than 1,500 hectares.
The Black Country Garden City idea is that by working together around a set of common principles, the Black Country LEP, Local Authorities, land owners, housing developers (private and social), and communities can transform perceptions of living in the Black Country, making it a much more desirable location to buy or rent a home, for existing Black Country residents as well as people moving to the area.
Ten Black Country Garden City sites across the Black Country are currently live, with a total of 500 units currently under construction with residents already living in completed homes in Goscote Lane, Walsall. There is an opportunity to lever £6 billion of investment through the Garden City over ten years as well as be a magnet for investment into its internationally established automotive, aerospace and construction sectors.
Dr Chris Handy, Black Country LEP Board Member said: “The Black Country is already signed up to deliver the Garden City over the next ten years, the principles are a means to ensure we are all delivering homes at the right quality, in the right areas, making the most of existing infrastructure.
“Through the Black Country Garden City we want to create a mixed economy of housing from affordable homes through to executive housing alongside high quality, and sustainable, amenities to ensure we attract and retain people within the Black Country. Not only do we want people to work in the Black Country, we want them to make the Black Country their home.”
Developers signing up to the Black Country Garden City Principles will be working against ten principles to deliver Garden City quality standards.
The principles cover:
1. Land use – developers will be encouraged to bring under-used land assets back into productive use.
2. Black Country – will the scheme make the most of the major assets of the Black Country such as green areas, built heritage and the canal network.
3. Garden – does the scheme integrate eco-sensitive planting and food growing into well designed streets and spaces.
4. Easy to get around – is the development well connected internally and more widely by all modes of transport?
5. Facilities and services – will residents have easy access to shops, schools, workplaces, parks, play areas, pubs and cafes?
6. Distinctive – does the scheme have a clear identity, expressed through its architecture, public spaces and the way it is marketed?
7. Enterprising – does the scheme support the creation and development of new business?
8. Engaging – will the scheme involve its residents in the management of their new community?
9. Smart – does the scheme harness technological innovation in its construction and operation to make it more sustainable and successful?
10. Healthy – does the scheme promote healthy lifestyle?