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Greater Manchester works together to meet housing need challenge

06/12/2017

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has responded to the Government’s national consultation on calculating housing need, welcoming its call for local authorities to work together.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has responded to the Government’s national consultation on calculating housing need, welcoming its call for local authorities to work together to ensure there is the right mix of housing across our city-region.

The consultation, Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places, highlighted challenges pertinent to Greater Manchester and included recommended measures for:

  •          Calculating local housing need;
  •          Joint working across local planning authorities; and
  •          Amending the way that viability assessments are set

The consultation, which itself builds upon the Housing White Paper published February this year, supports much of the current GMCA approach towards redrafting the GMSF, and is therefore broadly welcomed. The suggestion on how many new homes are required in Greater Manchester – 10,708 homes per year – is broadly in line with planning calculations made in the first Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) consultation in October 2016.

GMCA has published its response, the implications of which will inform the rewrite of the GMSF.  The GMSF is a joint plan for Greater Manchester, which is being produced by all 10 councils working together in partnership, with the aim of providing land for jobs and new homes across the city-region, creating neighbourhoods of choice – places where there is an integrated approach to place-making – bringing together housing policy, health, education and skills, transport, commercial development, culture and leisure, and public services. A new version of the plan will be published next year.

GMCA supports the recommendation of a standardised approach to calculating local housing need, first put forward in the White Paper. Also welcomed is the suggestion that, as in case of the joint drafting across Greater Manchester of the GMSF, local authorities work together to identify their shared housing need.

Work continues to develop the next version of the GMSF in order to respond to comments received on the first draft of the plan and take into account all new evidence.

A Greater Manchester Housing Strategy also remains under development, which will play a key role in delivering the housing aspirations set out in the GMSF - a place where people are proud to live, with a decent home and a fulfilling job.

Paul Dennett, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Homelessness at GMCA, said: “The government’s proposals are helpful in suggesting how it envisages local housing needs can best be addressed.  These proposals will be used to inform the GMSF and the developing Housing Strategy.

“It is clear that with all aspects of GMSF it is incumbent on us to be open and transparent with our communications and our processes. It is vital that the public are informed and can engage with the GMCA as we work together to address the significant challenges surrounding housing provision and need across our city-region.”

GMCA will be publishing information on all of the land currently available for homes and jobs.  This will include bringing together information from the 10 district Brownfield Registers which are due to be published by the end of the year, as well as their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments, and other sites which have been identified.

GMCA’s full response to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation proposals can be viewed here.