Liberal Democrats housing lead takes fight on HMOs and brownfield to Minister

Liberal Democrats housing lead takes fight on HMOs and brownfield to Minister

Borough news, housing and development
The fight against low-quality HMOs and for more brownfield development has been raised with the Minister for Housing Stuart Andrew MP by local Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Member Sam Al-Hamdani. He said: “We keep seeing HMOs appearing on our streets, many of them using the loophole that allows smaller ones to bypass the planning system altogether. Too often they are terribly low quality, crammed in to make the most money out of the smallest space. “At the other extreme, we keep seeing developers pushing for more and more four- and five-bedroom developments on green spaces. Councils rarely get the financial support to drive brownfield development, and have little or no legal powers to force development to take place on brownfield first.” Councillor Al-Hamdani wrote to the Housing Minister to demand…
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Why do we need GMSF? asks Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader

Why do we need GMSF? asks Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader

Borough news
Study finds more than 1.3m homes can be built on brownfield sites A recent study published by the countryside charity, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has found that the government’s target of 300,000 new homes could be built every year for the next four years, and then some, on brownfield sites, leaving the Green Belt untouched. Responding the findings, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE posed the question: “Why then do we need the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework with the proposal by the Greater Manchester Mayor and his Labour colleagues to destroy vast swathes of our irreplaceable Green Belt with unnecessary housing?” The CPRE found that there are enough sites in England that have been previously developed, and that are available for housing, to…
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Shaw and Crompton short-changed for third time in Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Shaw and Crompton short-changed for third time in Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Borough news, Campaigns
Liberal Democrat Councillors on Oldham Council remain bitterly opposed to Labour’s latest version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework which has just been unveiled and will go before a special Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 28 October, prior to being open to public consultation. In this third version of their plan to build new homes, which forms part of the wider Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), Oldham Council’s Labour Administration has removed proposals to build on Green Belt sites in Royton North Ward, Failsworth East Ward and St James Ward, but have retained plans to build almost 1,000 new homes on Green Belt and green space sites in Cowlishaw and in the Beal Valley. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, who is the Leader of the Opposition and represents Shaw,…
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Creation of Brownfield Fund welcome, but will fail to ‘scratch the surface’

Creation of Brownfield Fund welcome, but will fail to ‘scratch the surface’

Borough news
The Oldham Liberal Democrats have welcomed the creation of a so called new £400 million Brownfield Land fund, from which £81.1 million will be made available to the 10 Greater Manchester Authorities over the next five years, but say the overall investment ‘won’t scratch the surface’ when compared to the cost of remediating former industrial land in our City Region to make it fit for housing. Alongside publishing a new White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ last month, the Conservative Government restated its so-called commitment to building new homes on brownfield sites first; an approach the Oldham Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for years. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, explained: “According to Department of Trade figures, the UK has approximately 1,000,000 acres of contaminated land, much of…
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£400 million Brownfield Fund ‘welcome but not enough’, says Liberal Democrat Leader

£400 million Brownfield Fund ‘welcome but not enough’, says Liberal Democrat Leader

Borough news
“Welcome, but not enough” says the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, in response to the recent Government’s announcement that £400 million will be made available to Mayoral Combined Authority areas, such as Greater Manchester, through a new Brownfield Fund. Commenting, Councillor Sykes said: “As the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group adamantly favours building new homes on brownfield sites, and as we have previously called on this government to provide the cash to do this, it would be churlish of me not to welcome any announcement of government money to make this happen, but we have yet to see how much of this money comes to Oldham and in any case Oldham’s share will not be nearly enough.” Councillor…
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Brownfield funding must be restored

Borough news
Oldham Council unanimously backed Liberal Democrat Councillor Diane Williamson motion to the 10 July meeting of Oldham Council demanding the Government honour its previous commitment to provide £50 million in funding to Greater Manchester to fund the development of new housing on brownfield sites.  The Conservatives recently made the unilateral decision to renege on the deal.  Councillor Garth Harkness is seconding the motion, and their proposal is backed by the whole Liberal Democrat Group.  Wards across Shaw and Crompton and Saddleworth are threatened with the prospect of thousands of new homes on the green space and surrounding green belt under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) proposals. Councillors Williamson and Harkness, and their colleagues, want to see any new housing built on brownfield sites, former industrial land, rather than by destroying any…
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