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Birmingham Development Plan 2031: Completing Comments Form – Part B Comments on soundness

December 31, 2013

SUTTON Coldfield Rural Campaign and Beacon Street Area Residents’ Association (BSARA), a member of the Lichfield Alliance have been examining the Birmingham Development Plan 2031 (Pre-submission version) since it was released in October 2013 and have concluded, that in its current form, a Planning Inspector would probably rule it unsound.

All you need to know to complete ‘Comments Form – Part B Comments on soundness’The local plan says Birmingham has an objectively assessed housing need of 80,000 dwellings between now and 2031 but only has capacity for 45,000 in the urban area, with 6,000 being constructed on the Sutton Coldfield green belt.

It also highlights a need to build 33,000 houses outside its boundaries in neighbouring Local Authorities, including places like Bromsgrove, North Warwickshire, the Black Country LEP, South Worcestershire, Lichfield and Stratford.

The plan states a sub-regional housing study carried out by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP will look at issues on the broad scale and distribution of development over the next 20 years’, however, this will not be available until the Spring 2014 and no substantial negotiations have occurred with neighbouring Local Authorities. This study will be finalised after Birmingham’s current consultation ends, but it is not too late to ask Birmingham City Council to amend its plan to include recommendations from this report.

The current understanding of campaigners is that it is for an Inspector to examine the plan to determine whether it is sound or not. The inspector will consider all evidence, including a joint Sustainability Assessment and Technical Analysis required for the 33,000 houses, which is missing from the pre-submission version of the plan.

A BSARA spokesperson said “BCC have failed to show how their full objectively assessed housing needs [NPPF Para 47] will be met. The draft Local Plan is unsound because it fails to propose an effective strategy to deal with the cross-boundary development needs which it has identified.”

“An Inspector cannot judge the plan’s “soundness” until all the information is available to complete NPPF [Para 182]. Specifically is the plan Justified. Cross boundary evidence is absent from the Local Plan and consideration of reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence, is outstanding.” The spokesperson said.

The consultation period

The consultation will last for eight weeks from 6th January until 12 noon on 3rd March, 2014.

Submitting your comments

Comments may be submitted:



A comment form can be downloaded by clicking here if you wish to use this option.

By Post to:
Director of Planning and Regeneration, Development and Culture Directorate
Birmingham City Council
PO Box 28
B1 1TU

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