THE region’s first ever taskforce dedicated to unlocking publicly owned land for housing and regeneration has been launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The taskforce brings together leading property experts across the public and private sectors to explore how public land could be used to provide greater benefit to local communities and the wider region.
It will also support wider collaboration and best practice in the development and disposal of public land in the West Midlands.
The total amount of land in the West Midlands in public ownership amounts to over 5,500 hectares.
And the belief is that this represents a major opportunity to realise the economic value of these assets and ensure local communities and businesses directly benefit from their disposal and development.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who chairs the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “By supporting the identification of surplus land to meet the additional housing and employment needs of the region and enable additional social infrastructure, the Taskforce can offer insight into how land can be used to fast-track an inclusive economic recovery for the region.”
Stephen Barter of Wilton Capital Advisers who chairs the Taskforce, added: “The taskforce provides a terrific opportunity to harness the special knowledge and expertise of key industry players from across the region in one forum, in order to devise collaborative solutions to unlock the productive use of public land to promote growth and community benefit at a faster pace.
“The taskforce will seek to build upon the success of brownfield regeneration programmes within the West Midlands.
“By making better use of public land to meet local needs within the region for affordable homes and high-quality jobs in a more joined-up way, we want to create further shared achievements for the region and the communities who call it home.”