Control of over 23 hectares of prime development land in Longbridge is to be handed over to a central government body.
As the coalition government breaks up the previous government’s regional development bodies, including Advantage West Midlands which currently owns the land, land assets they acquired around the country will be handed over. In the region this includes land, worth around £180 million, at Longbridge, Pebble Mill and Eastside.
Local Enterprise Partnerships and councillors had requested that land assets be kept under local control. However, local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said that most land will be “transferred to Housing and Communities Agency to develop out”, while central government will take direct control of land considered of “nationally strategic importance”.
While prime land assets locally and around the country are handed back to central government, assets in London will be placed under direct control of a body managed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
UPDATE 23rd June 2011: an Early Day Motion was raised in Parliament yesterday where MPs expressed their concerns about the uncertainty regarding control of regional development agencies’ assets. Northfield MP Richard Burden has signed the motion.