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Levelling up Secretary praises new canalside community in Walsall

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities has praised a canalside community being built in Walsall.
Gove visit

The Secretary of State took a tour of Lockside, a new 324-home development, to see first hand how brownfield land can be successfully transformed into thriving inter-generational places. While there, he unveiled new measures that will boost housebuilding while protecting the Green Belt by prioritising brownfield developments.

Located on the sites of the former Caparo steelworks and Metafin factory, Lockside has been achieved by affordable housing provider whg in partnership with Lovell Partnerships, Walsall Council, Homes England and WMCA.

The scheme makes use of previously derelict land that had stood empty and unused for more than a decade. Development of the old Caparo site was aided by WMCA, who provided funding to clean up the site under its ‘brownfield first’ policy. A mix of shared ownership and affordable rent homes are now being built through joint venture developer Anthem Lovell LLP,  a partnership between Lovell and whg subsidiary Anthem Homes.

On the adjacent Metafin site, whg has once again partnered with Lovell to build an additional 72 homes for affordable rent.

Mr Gove heaped praise on the Lockside development and said it was an ‘examplar’ of brownfield redevelopment.

Gary Fulford, whg’s Chief Executive, said: “Lockside is a shining example of how urban regeneration can inject new life into neglected land and create a new, cohesive community of multi-tenure homes.  We were delighted to show Mr Gove what we achieved with our partners and the impact these new and affordable homes have had  in revitalising the area.”

Stuart Penn, regional managing director at Lovell, said: “The benefits of the ‘brownfield-first’ policy are exemplary at Lockside, where a thriving new community has been created with a long-lasting legacy for the area. Equally, the strength of local authority support provided by WMCA is evidenced by what we have achieved, which we showcased to Mr Gove today.

“Developing brownfield land is no doubt a challenge but through public and private sector partnerships we can unlock these sites and deliver high quality homes where there is demand – both for open market and affordable housing. We welcome the news that the government is focusing on making this process easier to ensure we can continue to build new homes, and provide true regeneration.”


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