Greater Manchester: New homes plan to tackle 'housing crisis'

Protesters march down road Image copyright Alistair Chapman
Image caption People concerned about green belt development and the affordability of homes marched against previous plans

More than 50,000 affordable homes will be built in Greater Manchester by 2038 under new plans to tackle the region's "housing crisis".

The revised plans come after huge protests over a previous proposal for 225,000 new properties.

Mayor Andy Burnham said 30,000 of the 50,000 new homes would be social housing.

He also announced a number of transport plans, including the expansion of the Metrolink tram system.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has agreed to support the house-building using surpluses from its £300m Housing Investment Loan Fund.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Metrolink would be extended to Stalybridge, Middleton and Salford Stadium under the plans

Other proposals of part of the new "spatial framework" include:

  • The release of brownfield sites for development
  • More homes in town centres
  • Redevelopment of transport interchanges in Tameside and Stockport
  • Expansion of the Metrolink tram network to Stalybridge, Middleton and Salford Stadium
  • Vehicles that can be used on both tram and train lines, similar to a scheme in South Yorkshire
  • Development of Salford Central station
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Greater Manchester is home to 2.8 million people

The 2016 consultation on the housing plan drew 27,000 responses and led to demonstrators marching against proposed greenbelt development.

But Mr Burnham said officials had "listened carefully" to the public this time around.

"Planning will always be a difficult question of striking a balance between creating new homes and jobs and protecting the environment," he said.

Green belt

In the revised planning document, GMCA said: "Greater Manchester is facing a housing crisis. It is adversely affected by the broken housing market that afflicts the country as a whole."

The rewritten strategy will be considered formally by GMCA on Friday.

If approved, it will be subject to public consultation.

Criticism of previous plans included concerns over the affordability of homes, transport congestion and development of green sites instead of brownfield land.

Green belt forms 47% of Greater Manchester but this would reduce to 45% if the revised proposals are implemented, GMCA said.

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