How many homes do we need in Greater Manchester, and where?

It has been argued that Greater Manchester has a choice. Either build on the green belt and have more high-rise in the city centre, or have insufficient new homes for an expanding population. Let’s examine this claim.

View this as a pdf.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) suggested that there was a need to build 227,200 new homes over 20 yrs or 11,360 per year (according to its favoured “Accelerated growth scenario”).

The CPRE commissioned an independent demographer who concluded, having corrected for errors like double counting, that “The Housing Target should be 9,894 dwellings per annum, 197,885 over the 20-year plan period. This includes a 5% buffer and is in line with past delivery and within the ten Local Authorities’ current five year land supplies.”

So here is the GMSF projection:

District

Total Requirement

Average Annual Requirement

Houses (%)

Flats (%)

Bolton

16,800

840

85

15

Bury

12,500

625

85

15

Manchester

55,300

2,765

15

85

Oldham

13,700

685

85

15

Rochdale

15,500

775

90

10

Salford

34,900

1,745

30

70

Stockport

19,300

965

75

25

Tameside

13,600

680

80

20

Trafford

23,100

1,155

60

40

Wigan

22,500

1,125

90

10

Total for GM

227,200

11,360

55-60

45-40

GM Spatial Framework: Table 8.1 Housing requirement

A simple revision of the above table to the CPRE projection, with population estimates corrected would be as follows.

District

Total Requirement

Average Annual Requirement

Houses (%)

Flats (%)

Bolton

14632

732

85

15

Bury

10887

544

85

15

Manchester

48165

2408

15

85

Oldham

11932

597

85

15

Rochdale

13500

675

90

10

Salford

30397

1520

30

70

Stockport

16810

840

75

25

Tameside

11845

592

80

20

Trafford

20119

1006

60

40

Wigan

19597

980

90

10

Total for GM

197885

9894

55-60

45-40

What about empty homes? The current number of vacant homes in Greater Manchester: is more than 11,000. This would still suggest a need for new build to keep place with demographic change.

Since in GMSF, 72% (163,584) of new home construction is on brownfield sites, therefore 63,616 on Greenfields, these CPRE figures would imply 34,301 on Greenfield sites, other things being equal (i.e. using the figure of 163,584 built on Brownfields which GMSF believes feasible).

But are other things equal? “Previously local authorities across Greater Manchester achieved between 80%-90% brownfield development.” (CPRE) Applying this range to the GMSF target would mean 181,760 to 204,480 on Brownfields and 45,440 to 22,720 on Greenfield sites.

Assuming that these higher levels on brownfield sites could be achieved (and there is evidence of under-identification of brownfield sites) and then applying them to the downwardly revised total target this would mean a Brownfield shortfall of 16,125 units (at 80%) or a surplus of 6,595 homes (at 90%).

None of this takes into account the option of increased medium-rise development. This is a “missing element” in UK cities, which sprawl considerably more than their continental counterparts. See Stuart MacDonald’s discussion (video and slides from 1hr:36m) at Manchester council for this argument. The “missing in-between” is a key flaw in the argument put forward by Manchester’s leader Sir Richard Leese, that there is a simple choice between high rise in the city centre or green belt sprawl.

Conclusions

If we combine,

1) corrected population projections,

2) feasibly higher levels of brownfields construction,

3) more medium rise construction (i.e. greater density, both new build and building up from existing stock/foundations),

then there is likely to be no need to build on green fields.

Sources:

CPRE (2017) Response to the Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

http://www.cprelancashire.org.uk/news/current-news/item/2400-greater-manchester-spatial-framework

GMCA (2016) Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

https://gmsf.objective.co.uk/file/4222688

Manchester Evening News (14 October, 2016) More than 11,000 empty homes in Greater Manchester.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/property/more-11000-empty-homes-greater-12020628

This entry was posted in Greater Manchester City Region, housing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How many homes do we need in Greater Manchester, and where?

  1. judith515 says:

    Do we need greater housing equity?; to factor in the extent housing is used for housing need? Danny Dorling* says – By 2011 the most spaciously housed tenth of the population had five times as many rooms per person than the most overcrowded tenth. This inequality in the provision of housing has not been greater since the census of 1911 and probably never.
    * In Policy, politics, health and housing in the UK published in Policy & Politics
    • vol 43 • no 2 • 163-80 • © Policy Press 2015 • #PPjnl @policy_politics
    Print ISSN 0305 5736 • Online ISSN 1470 8442 • http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557315X14259845316193

  2. The Government figures do not reflect the true extent of vacant dwellings and the figures are out of date (2015). Also the reduction in empty dwellings, especially in Manchester, has been the needless demolition of council homes. The last spate, of approximately 400 dwellings, where along Rochdale Road and Holts Town. The official figure for all empty dwellings in Greater Manchester is 32,637, as of 2015. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519505/LT_615.xls)
    Labour councils were quick, to rid themselves of council homes and even demolish them, to make way for ‘homes-to-buy’. The ‘bed-room tax’ and benefit cuts, have left many people unable to even afford housing association homes. Private rental properties are far too expensive and many lay vacant for years. There are still dwellings empty in places like the Chips Building and Jackson Wharf, Ancoats alone!
    It is not new homes we need, but a return to a housing policy and benefits system of equality and fairness.
    The present system only benefits property developers, who cause the housing bubbles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s