Reversing Brownfield Remediation Cuts and Fair Housing Targets Petition by Debbie Abrahams MP
Further to planning decision made on Knowls Lane, on which you can read my comments here, I have written a petition to be presented to the House of Commons. This petition is calling on the Government to both lower their unrealistic targets for house building in Greater Manchester and the give Local Authorities money to decontaminate brownfield land.
The 10 Councils in Greater Manchester have pooled their housing targets and are being asked to build 201,000 homes over the next 20 years, 47,000 more than the more recent ONS data suggests are actually needed. The Government has threatened to remove the planning powers of local authorities if they do not meet their target which they are refusing to update as they want to meet their national promise of 300,000 homes a year. In Oldham, this target has grown by more than double from 289 in 2017/18 to 716 in 2018/19. Brownfield land is expensive to decontaminate and without support from Central Government, this land is harder or impossible to build on, making it harder to meet the Government’s targets, putting our greenspaces at risk.
Below is the petition:
To the House of Commons.
The petition of the residents of Oldham East and Saddleworth declares that the Government’s arbitrary targets for housing development need to be based on recent and reliable population estimates, and agreed in partnership with local authorities; and that cuts to brownfield remediation money must be reversed to protect our greenspaces from development;
Notes that the Government’s targets for home building in Oldham in 2018/19 were 716, more than double the 289 target in 2017/18, and that the Government is demanding that, over the next 20 years, the 10 Local Authorities in Greater Manchester build 201,000 homes — 47,000 more homes than the more recent ONS data suggest are needed — to meet their arbitrary national target of 300,000 homes per year;
Further notes that the Government is demanding local authorities build housing without offering support for them to meet their targets, and has threatened to remove local authorities’ planning powers if these targets are not met, giving developers a free reign to pick and choose the land they want with no democratic accountability or regard to community or environmental impact;
And further notes that when they came to power in 2010, the Coalition Government cut all support to decontaminate brownfield land to making it even harder to meet these targets, putting our greenspaces at risk.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons call upon the Government to reverse the cuts by the Coalition Government and subsequent Government to brownfield remediation funding, provide house building targets in partnership with local authorities that reflect real, local housing need; and remove the threat to local authorities’ planning powers.
And the petitioners remain, etc.