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Plans Revealed for Green Belt Homes Across Greater Manchester

Plans have been revealed for at least 225,000 homes across Greater Manchester, including some on green belt land. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) scheme has identified sites for housing developments that may be built on over the next 20 years. Green belt sites at Pilsworth, Carrington, Cheadle Hulme and

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London’s Housing Future Under Debate as Mayoral Election Approaches

As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson prepares to face stern competition for the top job, mayoral candidates went head-to-head at this week’s LandAid debate to discuss their plans for the London, in particular, its housing stock. Topics included affordable housing, the private rented sector (PRS), overseas investors and featured speakers

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

green belt

Green Belt ‘being eroded at an alarming rate’ as new homes are built

460,000 houses being planned for land that will be released from the Green Belt, while the percentage of ‘affordable’ homes built continues to fall The Green Belt remains under severe pressure, despite government commitments to its protection, according to a new report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report highlights that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt. Moving Green Belt boundaries when reviewing local plans makes it easier for local authorities to release land for housing, but is only supposed to take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This strategic shrinking of the Green Belt, as a way of getting around its protected status, is as harmful as building on the Green Belt itself. The report also demonstrates that building on the Green Belt is not solving the affordable housing crisis, and will not do so. Last year 72% of homes built on greenfield land within the Green Belt were unaffordable by the government’s definition. Of the 460,000 homes that are planned to be built on land that will be released from the Green Belt, the percentage of unaffordable homes will increase to 78%. CPRE warns that this release of land looks set to continue, as one third of local authorities with Green Belt land will find themselves with an increase in housing targets, due to a new method for calculating housing demand. The London (Metropolitan) Green Belt will be the biggest casualty. Tom Fyans, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: ‘We are being sold a lie by many developers. As they sell off and gobble up the Green Belt to build low density, unaffordable housing, young families go on struggling to afford a place to live. The affordable housing crisis must be addressed with increasing urgency, while acknowledging that far from providing the solution, building on the Green Belt only serves to entrench the issue. ‘The government is failing in its commitment to protect the Green Belt – it is being eroded at an alarming rate. But it is essential, if the Green Belt is to fulfil its main purposes and provide 30 million of us with access to the benefits of the countryside, that the redevelopment of brownfield land is prioritised, and Green Belt protection strengthened.’ There is currently enough brownfield land in England to accommodate more than 1 million homes. CPRE urges the government and local authorities to ensure that this is redeveloped before any more greenfield land is released from the Green Belt. Local authorities with Green Belt land have enough brownfield land for over 720,000 homes, the report finds, much of which is in areas with a high need for housing and existing infrastructure. In addition to a push for a genuine ‘brownfield first’ approach to development, CPRE are also calling on the government to: retain its commitment to protect the Green Belt by establishing long-term boundaries halt speculative development in the Green Belt develop clear guidance for local authorities on housing requirements to protect designated land support the creation of new Green Belts where local authorities have established a clear need for them

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Plans Revealed for Green Belt Homes Across Greater Manchester

Plans have been revealed for at least 225,000 homes across Greater Manchester, including some on green belt land. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) scheme has identified sites for housing developments that may be built on over the next 20 years. Green belt sites at Pilsworth, Carrington, Cheadle Hulme and Ashton Moss have been featured on the list. The plans will be discussed by the 10 council leaders of the region on Friday prior to the launch of consultation. A draft report states the release of some green belt is “essential” in order to keep up with the growth in the city region. The combined authority said last year that 47% of the total land area of Greater Manchester was designated as green belt and this would be cut to 43% if the plans were approved. Meanwhile, West Salford Greenway, Rectory Lane, Standish in Wigan and land within the Roch Valley in Rochdale would be newly designated as green belt. The GMSF also included proposals for a new railway station at Droylsden and a Westhoughton bypass between Atherton and the M61. Council leaders agreed that previously industrial land should be used before the development of any protected space. They say 200,000 new jobs will be created as industrial and warehousing sites are built or increased, as well as work on new roads and infrastructure to support them. The report says: “We are preparing the GMSF to make sure that investment and growth in houses and jobs happens but also benefits our residents and makes Greater Manchester a better place to live and work. “We need to be able to plan for schools, green spaces, roads and health facilities alongside new homes, offices and factories. If we don’t do this, it won’t happen.” Mark Hunter, Liberal Democrat councillor for Cheadle Hulme South, said: “There is a problem about shortage of housing and we do particularly want to help those who are desperate to get their foot on the housing ladder.”

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London’s Housing Future Under Debate as Mayoral Election Approaches

As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson prepares to face stern competition for the top job, mayoral candidates went head-to-head at this week’s LandAid debate to discuss their plans for the London, in particular, its housing stock. Topics included affordable housing, the private rented sector (PRS), overseas investors and featured speakers from four of the UK’s main political parties. Somewhat predictably, Labour representative, Sadiq Khan, and Tory, Zac Goldsmith, were at loggerheads over what constitutes an “affordable home”. While Goldsmith expressed ambitions to tackle the consistent pricing-out of “average”, £34k-earning Londoners, Khan went further and was keen to stress the need for a London Living Rent and a structured calculation for house prices. Labour’s plans for Living Rent specific to London was the single policy dedicated to the rental sector. Delegates heard Khan provide details on the proposed rental rate which would be one third of average earnings in the area. The Conservatives, on the other hand, devoted attention to the housing crisis and suggested that the government needed to open more publicly-owned sites up for development. Goldsmith also added that transport infrastructure would have to be upgraded in line with any new development projects so as to join areas with the centre of the city. Caroline Pidgeon for the Liberal Democrats raised questions about foreign investment strategies, and insisted that overseas businesses ought to be taxed at a higher rate to discourage over-investment. In Green Party candidate, Sian Berry’s absence, Darren Johnson stood in to outline her plans for a not-for-profit company to shoulder all new development. The body would prioritise local and smaller developers in the hope to build affordable homes that were fit for purporse and beneficial to the local economy. All parties committed to building 50,000 new homes in the capital though they were hesistant to disclose just where they’ll find the land to do so. The LandAid debate was sponsored by Savills and attended by 350 representatives from some the UK’s largest contractors and property management companies.  

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