Manchester region pledges to scale up new net-zero homes

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  Posted by: electime      5th July 2022

Greater Manchester has announced ambitious plans to build 30,000 net-zero homes over the next 16 years through a partnership with the government’s housing accelerator Homes England.

The homes are part of a broader social, environmental, and economic vision for the area which covers Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “Right now we have to be creating homes and infrastructure that are fit for a better future, and our ambition is to deliver 30,000 good quality, truly affordable net zero carbon homes by 2038.

“This means unlocking brownfield land for regeneration and ensuring that development supports sustainable growth throughout the city-region.”

Homes England is also piloting a partnership with the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, ASELA, covering Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.

The partnership aims to transform housing and regeneration in the area where Homes England said there was a need for strategic and tactical interventions to increase delivery rates.

ASELA chair Cllr Chris Hossack and Leader of Brentwood borough council, said: “It will support our vision for south Essex as a place where communities can thrive and where new homes come hand in hand with new jobs and regeneration of our town centres and high streets.”

Homes England chief executive Peter Denton said: “This new model of partnership is our way of responding to the most ambitious places where there is a significant opportunity and a need to partner more closely.”

Strategic groups need planning powers

The National Federation of Builders, NFB, said the partnerships were a positive move but added that Homes England and strategic groups needed to have greater planning powers.

“If one local authority feels it is getting a raw deal, or is worried about losing votes, the whole strategy may fall apart or need to change and that highlights the barrier of solving a national crisis with a localist agenda,” said Rico Wojtulewicz, NFB housing and planning policy head.

The NFB is backing a cross-industry campaign launched yesterday by Housing Today calling on the government to re-commit to its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The campaign will look at planning funding, uncertainty over planning reform, the difficult funding environment for housing associations and the lack of SME housebuilders in the market.

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders would like to see more smaller builders in the market and that compelling councils to offer a small sites list would help SMEs.