The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government
9th August 2019
Dear Secretary of State,
We welcome you to your new role and write in the hope that, as a fresh pair of eyes, you can look again at the Government’s housing figures your predecessor asked local authorities to meet in local plans.
The second draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) removed a substantial amount of green belt from proposed development, but too much green belt is still allocated in order to meet the Government’s demanding numbers. Your predecessor told us these were not targets, but as Greater Manchester has already been penalised to the tune of tens of millions of pounds worth of housing related investment as a result of reducing its figures from 227,000 homes to 201,000 homes, it is hard to see them as anything else.
We would like the Government to reconsider its opposition to using the 2016 ONS household projection figures as the basis of calculating housing need. The 2014 figures the Government has insisted authorities use are out of date Indeed the 2016 figures will soon be out of date when the 2018 figures are published. The latest assessment of need should be the basis of housebuilding figures, not an overblown political target.
We are deeply concerned about protecting our green belt for future generations and we urge you to review the existing policy.
James Frith, MP for Bury North
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton & Reddish
Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley & Eccles South
Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne
Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale
Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East
Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton
Yvonne Fovargue, MP for Makerfield
Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood & Middleton
Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South
Ruth George, MP for High Peak