Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has called on this, or any future government, to provide £200m funding to clean up brownfield sites and make them ready for development.
Speaking as the Combined Authority prepares to consider a new Housing Statement, which sets out its vision for housing across the city region, Steve 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.
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.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:
“This Housing Statement is an important statement of intent, and the Combined Authority and constituent Local Authorities will work with a coalition of partners to drive real change.
“This includes our local Housing Associations, private house-builders, and Homes England, with whom we are already working closely to build an evidence base, identify sites and get spades in the ground.
“Housing can, and should, be the cornerstone of a prosperous, inclusive place to live and work; the foundation of a life well-lived for our citizens. The Combined Authority and its constituent Local Authorities are working hard to restore this principle, to deliver for the people of the Liverpool City Region.”
The Housing Statement, which will be considered at its meeting on Friday, 1 November, 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; and
- 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 (with a focus on brownfield land) improving housing quality (including better design, accessibility and energy efficiency) and increasing the supply of construction skills
- Supporting our Ageing Population;
- Regenerating our Neighbourhoods
- Improving the Quality of Renting
- Tackling Homelessness