Memorandum by St John's Urban Village
The St John's Board is a private/public partnership
led by Wolverhampton City Council, Advantage West Midlands (Regional
Development Agency) and the Prince's Foundation. It is tasked
with delivering a high profile Regeneration Project in Wolverhampton
City centre. The enclosed document sets out the main points of
my submission, but perhaps it would help to give some background
St John's Urban Village is a major part of the
regeneration strategy for Wolverhampton. A Framework Plan for
the Urban Village was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance
by Wolverhampton City Council in April 1999.
One of the most strategically important sites
which we are aiming to develop in the Urban Village is the Little
Brickkiln Street site. This is an area of around one hectare of
mainly derelict buildings, which links up the neighbouring New
Deals for Communities area with Wolverhampton City centre. A Development
Brief for the site has been drawn up and was adopted as Supplementary
Planning Guidance by Wolverhampton City Council in October 2001.
Following this, a developer has put forward a proposal to build
a mixed-use development on the site. The development is totally
in accord with the Urban Village Framework Plan, the St John's
Urban Village Business Plan and the Local UDP.
Due to relatively low land values in Wolverhampton,
it is widely accepted that some gap funding will be needed in
order to make the project work. However, under the current PIP
Schemes, a development with a majority (ie 50 per cent plus) residential
component would not be eligible for Gap Funding. We therefore
face a situation whereby a locally and regionally strategic site
cannot be developed purely due to the lack of an appropriate funding
mechanism. This is despite the fact that a private developer is
prepared to make a multi-million pound investment in the Urban
The consequences for the St John's Urban Village
and Wolverhampton City centre would be a loss of outputs, continued
dereliction and poor image, thus holding down land values and
inward investment. The loss of opportunity to develop the site
due to the current Regeneration Framework will almost inevitably
mean that value for money in other areas of investment within
the Urban Village will be reduced.
This example surely demonstrates the need for
a new European Regeneration Framework.
St John's Urban Village Board