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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

City, Town, Country, Connected

Tuesday, 16 March 2021


It’s no secret to anybody that Britain is currently in the grip of a housing crisis. Estimates have put the number of new homes needed to satisfy demand in England alone at up to 345,000 a year, but in 2019/20 our total housing stock nationally only increased by around 244,000.

This shortage in supply, combined with an increased demand from a growing population, has resulted in a sustained and serious impact on the cost of buying a house. Data from the Land Registry shows that in 1990 the average UK house price was £57,726 compared to an average household income of £20,448. 30 years later, the average housing price has skyrocketed to £237,834, far outstripping the relatively paltry average household income of £37,100.

The government has committed itself to a target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. To make this happen, they have passed down targets for the number of houses that local authorities such as ourselves are required to build in our area. While we have no control over the number of homes we are required to build, we do – if we have a plan to meet the target – have influence over how and where these are delivered.  A plan is important, as it gives us greater control over the quality and density of new housing, and ensures that the necessary supporting infrastructure will be provided.

The emerging nine borough Joint Development Plan ‘Places of Everyone’ and our plan for Godley Green specifically are key to housing developments that are about building communities and not just making profit. Failure to have a plan will put Tameside at the mercy of planning appeals and uncontrolled development based on what works for developers and not local people. While the temptation would be to just build enough to achieve our targets and be done with it, I believe that we should be bolder. That’s why we’ve chosen to make housebuilding an essential part of our overall inclusive growth strategy, combining new homes with investment in better jobs and green public transport.

 

Our development of a Garden Village in Godley Green is essential to making this vision a reality. Once complete, this will deliver 25% of the council’s housing target through the construction of over 2,000 high quality homes. This will include properties to buy and to rent at affordable rents, promoting liveability over profit and encouraging diverse neighbourhoods of young and old, single people and families, and independent and supported living. It is also our intention that all housing will be carbon neutral, digitally connected and enjoy easy access to diverse green space.
 
Wider infrastructure in the new Godley Green Garden Village will be provided by GPs surgeries, schools, transport and two multi-purpose community centres providing a wide variety of other amenities. The location of the development, with easy access to the Peak District, Manchester and Stockport, also allows for the construction of extensive and efficient cycling and other public transport infrastructure. This will also provide economic benefits to Hyde and Hattersley as Godley Green residents visit and spend within these neighbouring towns.

But our ambitions for Godley Green do not stop there, as we intend for nothing less than making the development a national exemplar for others to follow. We’re not just building houses, we’re building communities in the truest sense. Local people will be able to have a say on the running of the development, and wherever possible we will choose to protect and enhance the area’s natural environment.

It is in that spirit that we are in close contact with residents and stakeholders about the progress of the development. We are currently holding engagement sessions on the masterplan for the site prior to submitting for planning permission, and this consultation and discussion will continue over the entire 15 year lifespan of the project. A new website has also been created here, to provide a one-stop shop for any updates and opportunities for you to get involved.

 

I truly believe that the Godley Green Garden Village is a once in a lifetime chance to do something really bold and different with housing in our borough. We can, and I believe we will, prove that there need not be a choice between preserving our environment on one hand and driving economic growth on the other. Over the next few years I look forward to updating you all on the progress of the development, as well as our other plans to build fairer, better and greener in Tameside.
 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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