THE West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced a multi-million pound funding deal on Friday (28) to transform the former Caparo steelworks in Walsall into a 252-home community.
The funding means the derelict 16.5-acre site will be cleaned up and made ready for redevelopment.
It is being developed by Anthem Lovell (LLP), a joint venture between local housing association WHG and Lovell Partnership.
The project received funding from the WMCA housing land fund and working closely with the WMCA, supplying 78 affordable homes for local people.
The WMCA will also provide expert support in tackling land remediation and other issues on the site so that the much-needed new housing and industrial land close to Walsall town centre can be brought forward by the developers.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “Not only will this scheme help to further ease pressure on the greenbelt in the Black Country, but it will also help increase the number of affordable homes being built across the region.
“The funding deal requires developer Anthem Lovell to make at least 20 per cent of the new homes affordable and it’s excellent they have chosen to exceed that and go for 30 per cent instead.”
Cllr Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, added: “Caparo’s regeneration is a symbol of the direct intervention the WMCA is making as part of a housing and land programme that is leading the way nationally.
“Breathing new life into this site in this way is just the latest boost to the region’s drive to build enough homes to meet future demand.”
Stuart Penn, regional managing director at Lovell, said: We’re thrilled to be working collaboratively with the WMCA to deliver multi-tenure communities at both scale and pace, which will help to address the shortage of high-quality homes across the West Midlands, where this partnership will see 4,000 brand-new homes delivered in the next eight years.”
A reserved matters planning application for the 252-home scheme was recently submitted and a decision is expected by the summer. The project will also create local jobs and 15 apprenticeships during construction.
The former steelworks site will be transformed into quality newly built homes, helping to uplift the overall quality of housing in the area.
The development will provide a mix of housing types, including private homes for sale and rent and affordable housing, both shared ownership and affordable rent.
Access to the funding for the Caparo site was provided by Frontier Development Capital Ltd, which works closely with the WMCA to invest in property developments that support economic growth in the West Midlands.