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EXCLUSIVE: WMCA's Massive Miss On Brownfield Land

Andy Street, speaking at the Birmingham State of the Market event, 26 April 2018

The West Midlands Combined Authority is missing its brownfield land commercial property building targets by a mile, data released on its website reveals.

The brownfield land and property development data emerges as the authority, chaired by West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street, publishes an analysis of the WCMA's performance last year which does not mention the miss.

The Brownfield Land & Property Development Programme, dated May 2019, shows that 682K SF of commercial floorspace has been created as a result of the programme.

However, a detailed analysis shows that this is 1.47M SF behind the target of 2.15M SF.

The report shows pro rata performance also falling substantially behind.

Schemes winning support under the programme include the 135K SF Mucklow Park, Tyseley, which was awarded a £2M grant on the basis of £30.2M private sector leverage; Opus Land’s 120K SF Seven Stars scheme at Sandwell, awarded £2.6M on the basis of private sector leverage of £10M; and Redsun Projects 78K SF scheme at Telford awarded £1.8M on the basis of £1.1M private sector leverage.

Birmingham's Port Loop at Icknield, with Soho Loop in the distance

The largest forthcoming scheme is listed as St Modwen’s proposals for nine units totalling 592K SF at Longbridge, where a grant of £7M is indicated.

There was better news for residential development on brownfield sites.

The data shows the brownfield target has more than met its 800-unit housing target, with 1,879 new units recorded.

The review of the annual plan for 2018/2019, due to be discussed at Friday’s meeting of the WMCA board, said only: “We have invested in brownfield land remediation, tackling sites that have been dormant for years and bringing them back into use.”

West Midlands Combined Authority have yet to respond to Bisnow's invitation to comment on the data.