Saturday19 August 2017

Biggest garden city set for Black Country brownfield land

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West Midlands architecture centre behind plan for 45,000 homes across 30 sites

Plans will be unveiled this week at the Mipim property fair in Cannes for Britain’s largest-ever garden city in the Black Country.

The 45,000 homes would be built on 30 pockets of land across the boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The boroughs will be at Mipim trying to attract £6 billion of investment in the project which could start this year and be completed by 2025.

Communities secretary Greg Clarke said: “The Black Country Garden City symbolises the region’s ambition. It will deliver modern, new housing that will be a magnet for business investment, notably in advanced manufacturing and construction, which will boost the local economy and supply the houses local families want.”

The project, originally called Albion, was the brainchild of MADE, the West Midlands architecture centre, which submitted them as an entry to the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize in 2014. The prize was won by Urbed, but the idea was taken up and pursued by the Black Country’s local authorities.



Readers' comments (8)

  • What makes 30 disparate sites across and area into 1 garden city?
    How will they decide whether to call it:
    Dudley Garden City
    Sandwell Garden City
    Walsall Garden City or
    Wolverhampton Garden City
    I have no doubt this is just a smoke screen for 30 new build ave.1500 house sites like everywhere else...

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  • Good news, and a great opportunity!

    But may I offer 3 suggestions to the powers that be?

    First, that the word people most strongly associate with “garden cities” or “garden suburbs” is DELIGHT – that all-important 3rd pillar of Vitruvius’s sacred trinity. Therefore this quality should be put at the very apex of the agenda from day one of the planning process, and control every decision.

    Second, that the public should be directly consulted on what they regard as ‘delightful’ architecture. This entitlement is laid down in the Localism Act 2011. On page 12 of the Government’s "Plain English Guide to the Localism Act", published in November 2011, the then Minister for Decentralisation, Greg Clarke, stated that “Neighbourhood planning will allow communities … to say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and WHAT THEY SHOULD LOOK LIKE" - my capitals.

    Third, that traditional design should explicitly be on of the agenda, should that be what the public say they mean by "delightful architecture". If I may quote from the document “Summary: This Way to Better Residential Streets", published by Cabe Space 2009: "Ideas for new streets should come from streets in our towns and cities which have proved successful over time. There is a range of recognisable street types based on a variety of standard patterns, such as Georgian streets and squares, mews, and Victorian and Edwardian terraced grids”.

    Read also, in this connection, Hank Dittmar’s article “When will Stirling laureates be allowed to quote from Wren?” (BD 20 October 2015), which sets out the arguments better than I could do.

    Let's get it right this time!

    Maritz Vandenberg

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  • In anticipation of the unparalleled mediocrity that the commercial development sector will intentionally achieve on such a project, can I suggest a name : SEEGAR CITY ? Valid on two fronts : the playful song concerning “ticky-tacky boxes” and the self congratulatory cigar the philistines will award themselves for their pathetic outcomes!!!!

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  • Bob  Loblaw


    I admire your optimism, I just hope this is not all decided behind closed doors at MIPIM

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  • Keith is on the money...

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    This government's strategy of trying to soothe opposition to speculative developer-led large-scale housing developments by branding them "garden cities" is quite shocking. Nothing about them has anything to do with garden cities. What is even more shocking is their ability to get away with it. The term "garden cities" now joins "affordable housing" in the Tory mangling of the English language.

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  • @SSMN
    Your forgetting the prime Tory mangle : “Public participation” AKA just stop complaining and buy the "chickenshack shit”?

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  • You’re !!!! Doh?

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