Seventeen councils in the North West are among 73 across England chosen to pilot new brownfield registers being introduced by government in an attempt to speed up construction of new homes.
The government’s rather confused housing policy has been further muddied by the announcement that, under a new pilot scheme, ‘permission in principle’ will be granted for new homes on brownfield sites. The aim is, of course, to ease the housing crisis by making the developers’ lives a little easier.Manchester was automatically chosen because of its large swathes of brownfield land. Awkwardly, the pilot’s announcement comes in the same month that Castlefield looks set to have a Neighbourhood Plan put in place, to protect its current inhabitants from residential over-development.The government needs to make up its mind: either blast the obstacles out of the way of the developers; or give greater rights to the public to have a say in how their area should be managed. They cannot do both.