A key city council plan to increase the population of Birmingham by 100,000 has come under attack from a scrutiny inquiry.
The cross-party group urged the local authority to concentrate on quality rather than quantity.
Under proposals being considered by the West Midlands Regional Assembly, Birmingham may be asked to build 55,500 new homes by 2026.
But that figure could rise to 60,000 if the government imposes higher house building targets on the region.
City council leader Mike Whitby has spoken many times about the importance of “growing” the population of Birmingham.
But the inquiry, led by Coun Alistair Dow, head of the council’s scrutiny unit, warned that deteriorating economic conditions made the growth targets increasingly difficult to achieve.
There were also doubts about the standard of new homes if Birmingham tried to expand too quickly.
The scrutiny report warns: “The growth agenda should be understood and communicated primarily as concerned with growing prosperity for Birmingham people and businesses, rather than having any particular target for population growth.
“This means growing prosperity and improving the quality of life of everyone in Birmingham, including tackling disadvantage. Perhaps it is best to conclude that the length and depth of the recession and the subsequent speed of recovery are too uncertain to make firm forecasts at the moment.”
Rather than concentrating on a specific figure for growth, it would be better to deliver “the type and quality of housing which will encourage families and highly-skilled people in particular not to move away”, the report added.
Coun Dow (Lib Dem, Selly Oak) said: “My committee’s main interest is in growing the prosperity of Birmingham’s people and businesses, rather than in population growth for its own sake.
“As the plans come to fruition over time, there will be new buildings and activities to see in Birmingham, but that is not my main aim. Rather it is for a future in which people’s day-to-day lives and experiences are further enriched by the increasing variety and liveliness of our city.”