GMLC has signed the following open letter alongside at least 58 other organisations. You can see the full list of signatories here.
To Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester,
A new report by researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield reveals that Manchester City Council is leasing large amounts of public land to developers in order to enable the construction of unaffordable luxury apartments in the city centre.
Greater Manchester is facing a housing crisis: there were 98,898 households on the housing waiting list in 2019, an increase of 98% since 1997. Manchester City Council’s own policy states that all new developments should contain 20% affordable units. However, the report reveals that public land in Manchester city centre is being used for private developments that contain no affordable or social housing.
In light of the pandemic, and with the ever-growing threat of climate change, the need for public green space has acquired a new urgency. Central Manchester in particular has a notable shortage of green spaces, with recent disputes over New Islington Green and the former Central Ancoats Retail Park sitting high in the headlines over the last year. But this issue isn’t limited to the city centre — across the region communities have been contesting plans to build on green space.
The report calls for greater transparency and accountability over public land ownership and use. It recommends the establishment of a participatory Land Commission to oversee public land use, along the lines of that set out by Liverpool City Region in 2020. This recommendation was also made by the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission.
We the undersigned welcome the inclusion of a Greater Manchester Land Commission as a policy pledge in your manifesto for this year’s mayoral election. We believe your victory gives you a clear mandate to take this work forward, and we call on you to establish a Land Commission with participation from local housing campaigners and organisations committed to climate justice by the end of December 2021.
13 May 2021