As the Birmingham Commonwealth Games bosses were busy unveiling the exciting new plans for the athlete's village and Alexander Stadium, it appears that in other quarters there is growing anxiety that money to build the houses might not be forthcoming.

That is because the Government’s own policy for funding housing and regeneration schemes is actively skewed against developments in places like Perry Barr.

It is also running in conflict with other Government policies to tackle the housing crisis - such as limiting building on green belt land and rebalancing the economy to the regions, away from London and South East.

The City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority have submitted bids for £189 million funding to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to support the regeneration of Perry Barr, with the athlete’s village development, as well as other sites across Birmingham and Black Country such as the Icknield Port Loop development.

It seems like a no-brainer - these are inner-city areas with wide brownfield sites ripe for development and need a little public sector funding to get the ball rolling.

Perry Barr has acres of land after Birmingham City University finally moves out and is in need of some serious TLC after years of neglect and under-investment.

The Commonwealth Games provide the opportunity to get a lot of the work done in a relatively short four-year timescale.

But it appears the Government’s computer is saying ‘no’.

That is because the simple sums favour other types of development.

It is a similar reason which leads to there being £943.80 per head investment in public transport in London and just £314.44 per head in the West Midlands - even though our need is arguably as great, if not greater.

This is because London property prices, potential fare income and wages are all much higher and, therefore, the economic impact in simple monetary terms is also much, much higher.

So the Treasury happily signs off big projects like Crossrail, with a public sector price tag of almost £5 billion, but has spent years knocking back the Moseley and Sutton Park Rail lines.

For housing, the situation is even more acute with the wealthy south not only getting a nice share but green field sites - which are less expensive to develop than say former industrial sites in the Black Country which need extensive demolition and decontamination before a brick can be laid.

CGI of the first phase of development at the Port Loop site in Birmingham
Icknield Port Loop design

This is why big cheques for £15 million-plus were handed to projects in Brighton and Dover , while Basingstoke, Bath, Croydon, Lambeth, Norwich, Essex and Wycombe also got seven-figure handouts.

In the West Midlands, only green field sites, like the former Long Marston Airfield at Stratford-on-Avon, were bankrolled.

There were no grants for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Further rounds of funding, including larger sums, are due to be announced and there are fears that Perry Barr won’t make the cut.

The HIF funding is needed to not only support the 1,000 home athlete’s village, but kick-start the development of a further 2,000 homes in the Perry Barr area.

Birmingham council leader Ian Ward summed up the situation: “When we look at the formula the Government is using to determine these bids we can see that by and large it is green belt sites and green field sites that are getting the benefit.”

He said this flies in the face of the Government’s policy agenda to deliver homes on brownfield sites.

“With the next round of HIF bids I cannot see how the Black Country is going to be successful.”

Birmingham City Council Leader Councillor Ian Ward

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“What also worries me is that we have a bid in for £143 million for the Commonwealth games village and on this formula I think we are going to struggle.”

He fears they will have to fall back on ‘plan B’ - which is house the athletes in university halls of residence.

This would, of course, mean that one of the key legacies of the Birmingham bid - 3,000 homes for Brummies - will not be delivered.

Others around the West Midlands Combined Authority table have talked of their frustration.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street agrees and said he met with the housing minister and not only expressed his disappointment over the housing bids and the challenge the calculations used for grant funding.

He says he told the minister he expects better news on the next round of funding announcements.

Politicians frequently talk about joined up Government - in this case they really need to ensure their mandarins are practicing it.