How do we stop modern slums in Greater Manchester?

Oldham Liberal Democrat Councillors Sam Al-Hamdani and Hazel Gloster will pose this question when they propose a related motion at the next full meeting of Oldham Council (15 July).

Councillors Al-Hamdani and Gloster are seeking a guarantee that any new homes that are built in the Borough have natural light and a minimum space standard. They also want this guarantee to extend to former non-residential premises converted into homes.

Councillor Al-Hamdani, who is proposing the motion, said: “In Watford last year, despite the strong objections of the Liberal Democrat Mayor and Liberal Democrat Council, planning permission was granted for flats that had no windows and were smaller than 37 square metres, which is below the government guidelines. While there are guidelines, there is nothing in law saying this cannot happen in Oldham or anywhere else in the UK.

Sam Al-Hamdani, shadow cabinet for housing and homelessness

“The Oldham Liberal Democrats want to ensure that the residents of any new or converted homes in this borough enjoy access to natural light and good space standards; accommodation that provides anything less can only be considered oppressive and not fit-for-purpose in our modern age.”

Councillor Hazel Gloster, who is seconding the motion, added: “The regulations are constantly changing and are being increasingly relaxed. We want the Council to write to the Secretary of State urging the law be changed so that councils can have the final say on dwelling standards. And we want the Mayor of Greater Manchester and Oldham Council to put something in place to make sure people have excellent living conditions.

“With the proposals to build thousands of new homes under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, many in my own ward, it is vital that we secure such guarantees. Homes with no natural light and cramped rooms should be rejected on humanitarian grounds.”

The Council meeting will be held on 15th July and starts at 6pm.

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