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Major town centre regenerations and 50,000 affordable homes announced in new Greater Manchester masterplan

Greater Manchester has today outlined a series of “bold and far-reaching” proposals for housing and transport, including plans for tens of thousands of new affordable homes, the major rejuvenation of town centres, and hundreds of millions of pounds to be put into improvement projects.

The region will deliver a national-first scheme using devolved mayoral powers to regenerate a major town centre as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) mayor Andy Burnham sets out revamped planning, housing, and job frameworks.

A minimum of 50,000 new affordable homes will be built, of which 30,000 will be social housing, and the plan prioritising the redevelopment of town centres and making the most of brownfield sites.

The net loss of green belt will reportedly be reduced by more than half, and, “as an illustration of the radical approach that Greater Manchester is taking to environment policy, the city region is making clear its opposition to fracking” in announcing that it will ban the practice.

Stockport will receive a major regeneration to its town centre, with Burnham working with Stockport Council to bring forward a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) for the town, the first time MDC powers have been used in this way in the UK.

Andy Burnham commented: “In this time of national social and economic uncertainty, and with politics in Westminster paralysed by Brexit, Greater Manchester is taking the initiative and setting out an innovative blueprint to give people, communities and businesses hope and confidence for the future.

He said that the city-region is “harnessing the full power of the most advanced devolution deal of any city-region in England,” and “we are putting together the pieces of the jigsaw to reveal the big picture – a Greater Manchester where prosperity, opportunity, health, hope and happiness are widely and fairly shared across all our people and places.”

The transport plan identifies more than 65 projects to be completed over the next five years, including 27 new trams, upgrading Salford Central station, and £160m new walking and cycling infrastructure.

The region plans to have half of all daily trips made by public transport, walking and cycling by 2040, with schemes to boost air quality also announced.

Burnham continued: “When we consulted people on the first spatial framework, the public were clear that we hadn’t got the balance right. We listened, reflected, and can now present a radical re-write as promised. It also lays the foundations for radical reform in other policy areas such as housing, the environment and transport.”

He added: “The shift towards redeveloping our towns not only breathes new life into them but also relieves pressure to build on the city-region’s green belt,” adding that “with Greater Manchester’s bold vision we can make our proud towns a success story once again.”

This follows the announcement in November that Greater Manchester was planning to “radically overhaul” its model of delivering public services in what was billed as a “big test for devolution.”

Devolution and regneration across the north of England will be discussed extensivley at this year's EvoNorth, organised by Northern Powerhouse Partner Cognitive Publishing. Don't miss your chance to attend, visit the website here. 

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