The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) today (Thursday March 12) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with innovative developers Urban Splash to build 10,000 high quality homes in the region.
The ongoing working relationship showcases the WMCA’s dedication to good design and investment in quality homes following their design charter launched in January, and new Single Commissioning Funding Framework launched last September.
The WMCA Single Commissioning Framework provides a single set of criteria that will be applied to all Housing projects in the region, including requirements on affordable housing, design and modular construction.
From left: Cllr Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land, David Warburton, WMCA's head of land and development, Donna Pickersgill, WMCA development manager, Cllr Bob Sleigh, Deputy Mayor of the West Midlands, Nathan Cornish, group director at Urban Splash and Adam Willetts, senior development manager at Urban Splash
Urban Splash are regarded as sector leaders in advanced methods of construction, and the partnership deal is aimed at helping the WMCA hit targets to deliver 215,000 new homes across the region by 2031, and brownfield regeneration, in order to meet future housing and economic demand.
The signed MOU outlines that House by Urban Splash will aim to deliver circa 5% of WMCA’s 215,000 new homes target within the region by 2031. A target of 10,000 new multi tenure homes consisting of various ownership models, will be delivered across the West Midlands over the 11 year period.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The West Midlands economy is continuing to grow at a fast pace and more companies and people are coming here looking to enjoy everything our region has to offer.
“This is of course brilliant news, but it also brings with it a set of challenges, especially in terms of providing enough homes and commercial premises to keep up with demand.
“Urban Splash is one of the most innovative developers in the UK using modern methods of construction that can deliver quality homes at pace on reinvigorated brownfield sites. By combining that expertise with WMCA resources, support and expertise we can help meet the housing demand and transform acres of former industrial land into vibrant new communities, protecting our precious greenbelt land in the process.”
Nathan Cornish, Group Board Director at Urban Splash, commented: “This partnership brings together investment, understanding and skills to develop brownfield sites, transforming past industrial wasteland into modern day homes and communities.
“This is further reflective of the current confidence in the regional market and economy - and as the Chancellor noted in his Budget yesterday, the commitment at national level to meet the housing demand.
“Urban Splash know the West Midlands well, having delivered iconic projects at Fort Dunlop and Rotunda. We are currently on site at Port Loop working in partnership with Places for People, Canals and Rivers Trust and Birmingham City Council.
“It is brownfield projects like that we will target in order to bring forward more award-winning homes to the region, delivering architect-designed homes with their own identity, creating vibrant family focused neighbours.”
WMCA and Urban Splash’s ambition is to establish a ground-breaking strategic partnership which brings together public and private sector skills and investment to unlock complex brownfield sites and ease pressure on the greenbelt.
Urban Splash will invest in the acquisition, planning, promotion and delivery of housing development sites and will deliver high quality, award winning and sustainable communities at ‘scale and pace’.
As part of the partnership deal Urban Splash will embrace Modern Methods of Construction as its default construction approach, and endeavour to deliver ground breaking products on brownfield land fit for a region known for its manufacturing excellence. Urban Splash will also be devoted to making architect designed homes available to the marketplace across a range of tenures.
The partnership will see WMCA work with House by Urban Splash, Urban Splash’s innovtive housing brand, in order to prioritise brownfield sites to transform into neighbourhoods with distinct characteristics, and that are recognisable and different, each with their own identity. ‘Mansion House’ and ‘Townhouse’ (pictured above) are two examples of the homes that will be built across the region.
WMCA has a series of investment funds which it is making available in the region to increase the supply of readily developable brownfield land, to deliver attractive and inclusive development schemes with new homes, commercial, retail and other employment space.