Greater Manchester Framework reduces Housing Targets – Halves Green Belt Loss

Evening news

The new version aims for slightly fewer new homes than previously, revising down the target from 227,000 to 201,000.

Andy Burnham at the 2017 mayoral election count (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Insiders say this was because the original document was planning for more homes than the region needed.

It also concentrates even more ‘high density’ development in Manchester and Salford – apartments, essentially – as well as in town centres such as Stockport and Bolton, in order to reduce the amount of protected green space under threat elsewhere.

Around 15 green belt sites have been removed from the plan altogether.

Nevertheless, nearly 40 of those earmarked in the original version are still in the new draft – albeit substantially reduced in size in many cases, if not the majority.

The total amount of green belt space under threat has roughly halved under the new plan, with a further 65 patches of land given new green belt status.

It also provides more detail than previously about the new transport links that would connect the developments, including proposed tram stops, train stations and rapid bus routes.

And around a quarter of the homes to be built would be classed as ‘affordable’ – 50,000 – with over half of those at social rent, although how the conurbation intends to define affordability, and where those houses would go, is yet to be confirmed.