Midlands property and construction figures warn on new combined authority

The creation of a new combined authority in the West Midlands could stifle development unless it is established in the right way, property and construction leaders in the region have warned.

Paul Fenner, Head of Real Estate and Construction and partner in our Birmingham office, said it was vital the Midlands worked closer together to win devolved powers and broadly welcomed the proposals.

“The industry will be watching developments at the West Midlands Combined Authority closely,” Fenner said.

“On the face of it, there are certainly concerns amongst the property and construction industry in the Midlands that the creation of the combined authority could essentially create more hoops to jump through during planning and development processes.

“The launch of the authority could be extremely positive for the wider region, and seriously strengthen the Midlands, if there is the right level of communication and engagement between all parties involved.

“We’ll be watching closely how the launch plays out over the coming months, but it is crucial all the authorities work together to support industry and economic development in the region without adding extra paperwork and extending timelines.”

Nigel Mason, Managing Partner in the Birmingham office at Rider Levett Bucknall, added: “The Midlands has all the ingredients to be one of the top locations to do business and important progress is being made to continue to grow the region as an economic powerhouse both domestically and internationally.

“It’s vital we leverage all the tools at our disposal to drive economic development, and if there’s any change to planning processes following the creation of the super authority, all industry figures must collaborate  to make sure they work for the greater good of the Midlands.”

Together, with Rider Levett Bucknall, we are working in partnership with key figures in the property and construction industry to support and help deliver best practice.  At the beginning of July we held a round table event at Rider Levett Bucknall’s Birmingham offices which brought together contractors, developers, financiers and lawyers to discuss issues facing the sector, including funding, planning, procurement and skills.


Paul Fenner