Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor says the cash could unlock the potential of brownfield sites and lead to the building of 42,000 new homes. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool city region needs £200m from whoever wins the General Election to alleviate its housing crisis, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says.
In a direct appeal to the major parties who will look to form a Government after the election on December 12, Mr Rotheram said the cash could allow a clean-up of brownfield sites and the building of an extra 42,000 homes.
In total, 700 brownfield sites have been identified across the six local authorities of the Liverpool city region. The updated register identifies 1,813 acres of brownfield sites which could provide space for more than 42,000 homes, if remediated.
Speaking as the Combined Authority prepares to consider a new Housing Statement, which sets out its vision for housing across the city region, Mr Rotheram said: “Everybody should have the right to a safe and comfortable place to call home, but a national housing crisis means this is out of reach for too many people in our city region.
“We desperately need to build more homes and this new housing statement sets out a clear plan of action. A key focus is on speeding up the delivery of new houses, through a brownfield first approach to preserve our green spaces as best we can.
“Across the region we’ve identified enough Brownfield land to build 42,000 homes but, to get these much-needed houses built, we need to get the sites ready to build. This is expensive because of our industrial legacy and that’s why I’m calling on the Government to provide the £200m we need to make them housebuilding ready – so we can get on with the job.”
In planning terms, any land that has been previously developed is classed as brownfield. In the Liverpool City Region, much of this land is derelict and formerly industrial so must be cleaned up before it can be redeveloped.
The Housing Statement, which will be considered at its meeting on Friday, November 1, sets out a vision for housing that:
- Supports ambitions for an inclusive economy as set out in the emerging Local Industrial Strategy.
- Addresses fuel poverty.
- Improves the long-term sustainability of all communities in the LCR.
- Delivers public service transformation and meets the housing needs of the city region’s most vulnerable residents.
- Supports the city region’s ambitions to become a world leader in modern construction methods.
- Prevents homelessness wherever possible.
To deliver the vision, five key priorities have been identified:
- Delivering more homes, improving housing choice and quality – with an emphasis on increasing housing supply and choice, improving housing quality, and increasing the supply of construction skills.
- Supporting our ageing population.
- Regenerating our neighbourhoods.
- Improving the quality of renting.
- Tackling homelessness.