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Regional Spatial Strategy (West Midlands)

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is today publishing the phase 1 revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the West Midlands. It follows the public examination in January 2007 and the proposed changes published in September.

The majority of the consultation responses were supportive of the proposed changes and the Secretary of State is therefore pleased to confirm them with some minor amendments. The final revision includes:

new policies to define broad areas for regeneration and growth in the Black Country,

a new policy which replaces Dudley with Brierley Hill and Merry Hill as a strategic centre,

a new policy to emphasise the importance of transforming the environment, and

revisions to the transport priorities to reflect the current status of transport proposals in the Black Country.

Baroness Andrews has today written to the WMRA with the final phase 1 revision together with a summary of responses and schedule of changes.

Copies of the relevant documents are available on the internet, in the Libraries of both Houses, and have been provided for all of the Region’s MPs, MEPs and local authorities.

The more extensive phase 2 revision to the West Midlands RSS is also underway. This covers revisions to housing and employment policies and the draft submission from the West Midlands Regional Assembly is currently being consulted on.