BROWNFIELD land across Greater Manchester is set to be converted into sites for more than 2,700 new homes, as part of the second phase of a £97m development fund.
At a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on Friday 26 March, leaders will be asked to approve an allocation of £41m to develop a further 21 brownfield sites across the city-region.
The funding is the second tranche of an initial £81m allocated to Greater Manchester from the Government’s Brownfield Housing Fund to unlock brownfield sites for development. An additional tranche of £15.8m was secured by the GMCA in February of this year and allocated to deliver a further 1,325 homes, taking Greater Manchester’s total Brownfield Housing Fund allocation to £97m. Twenty-four schemes were identified to benefit from the first £37.2m tranche of the five-year funding allocation, delivering 4,318 homes across sites in all 10 boroughs.
Of the 2,720 homes planned for this second phase of the scheme, around half – 1,350 – would be affordable housing. This is in addition to the 1,100 affordable housing units expected to be delivered through the first phase.
All brownfield sites identified for development were assessed on their viability and how they support the principles of the Greater Manchester Strategy.
The announcement supports the ambition of Greater Manchester leaders to take a brownfield first approach to development. Leaders set out this approach as part of the previous Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, and the Places for Everyone plan will also have a brownfield first preference towards development in order to meet the Government’s housing targets while minimising the impact on the green belt.
If this second tranche is approved, 8,363 homes on brownfield sites will be unlocked through the Brownfield Housing Fund. This is in addition to the 6,856 homes built as a consequence of £506.7m of investments in 54 schemes across the city-region by the Greater Manchester Housing Investment Loans Fund.
Mayor Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford and GMCA Lead for Housing, Planning and Homelessness, said: “We have always said that we want to bring forward the most sustainable brownfield areas across our city-region for development, and with the Brownfield Housing Fund we’re doing exactly that.
“As we continue to prioritise our response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in our communities, towns and cities, we also need to take action at the same time to build a better and fairer future for all of our residents. This is in addition to seeing ongoing development as an important part of our economic recovery plan from COVID-19, creating and sustaining jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships within Greater Manchester’s construction industry.
“This funding will allow us to regenerate brownfield sites, support districts in working towards meeting national government targets, and deliver just shy of 2,500 good quality affordable homes, helping us to address the under-supply of housing and meet growing need. However, while we welcome this contribution, it remains the case that affordability as defined by the Government does not always translate into affordability for our residents, and further funding will be needed to deliver genuinely affordable homes across Greater Manchester to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis we face.”