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Letter: No final decision over homes.

Byline: David Marr

Dear Editor, This is in response to the piece by Paul Dale, 'Government 'vandals' set higher target for new homes'(July 12).

No final decisions about the overall level and distribution of new housing for the West Midlands Region have been made.

The Government Office for the West Midlands (GOWM) has commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) to undertake a study to look at potential locations for accommodating new housing in the region to meet the levels of proposed by the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU).

This study will form part of the evidence base for the Government's response to the Regional Spatial Strategy Phase 2.

The Examination in Public into the revision will take place in Spring 2009.

NLP presented their initial options to regional partners and stakeholders at a seminar held last week in central Birmingham.

The options were prepared independently by NLP and provide a range of potential ways in which additional housing growth could be delivered in the West Midlands.

Housing projections and NHPAU's advice suggest that more homes are needed in West Midlands. There is a concern is the current spatial strategy may be unnecessarily constraining longer-term development .

The strategic options are not site specific and the broad locations shown for additional growth under each option are strategic 'areas of search'. Ultimately, it would be for local authorities, through their Local Development Frameworks, to determine the most appropriate location and way to deliver housing requirements set by RSS.

The study will not be pre-empting the statutory planning process. Evidence will be put to the public examination where it will be tested by an independent panel. No decisions about the overall level and distribution of new housing for the West Midlands Region have been made. The Government Office has simply commissioned more information to put to the independent review panel.

David Marr Head of Planning and Housing Government Office for West Midlands
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 18, 2008
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