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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Consultations about the Future of Solihull

Hillfield ParkTwo consultations have been launched in recent weeks about strategies which, between them, will determine much about the future of our borough.

The Emerging Core Strategy consultation is about future developments in the borough, how land will be used, whether and where the Green Belt will be touched by development. What land will be potentially available for housing developers. What space will be available for retail and commercial space. How will this all affect transport links. In other words, it is a spatial strategy for the next decade and more.

The Local Economic Assessment looks at the development of the local economy, attracting more businesses to Solihull, developing skills which commercial interests will need, providing the strong local economy that will strengthen our communities and ensure high employment rates. In other words, making sure that Solihull is a prosperous borough a decade or more hence with less of an equality gap than it has now between the extremes of the borough.

These documents are inexorably linked. You cannot attract businesses without suitable commercial land, a choice of affordable quality housing in which its people might live and viable transport links. There is no point in building houses if people are going to migrate from the area because of a lack of jobs. There is no point in regenerating Chelmsley Wood if people there cannot access suitable employment. So, they need to be examined together.

There is an opportunity now for our sector to influence these strategies on behalf of our members and service users. They are challenging documents to assimilate and digest, but their potential impact on our future demands that we make the necessary investment.

If there is sufficient demand, SUSTAiN will seek stakeholder workshops to assist in the process. Please let us know by emailing tinab@solihull-sustain.org.uk if you think this would be helpful and would attend.

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CEO Colebridge Trust & SUSTAiN