Greater Manchester local authorities that failed to identify enough brownfield land to meet their housing needs are reviewing underused green space and Green Belt sites.

Analysis by planning consultants Barton Willmore revealed that brownfield land identified for new homes in Greater Manchester would fulfil less than 50% of the county’s housing requirement.

In total, 1,246 brownfield land sites were identified across the 10 authorities which make up the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The sites have the capacity to deliver just over 100,000 homes - falling short of the 227,200 homes the county needs.

Manchester City Council’s brownfield land is sufficient to meet 70% of the city’s housing requirement, however, in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford this fell to 30%.

Greg Dickson, planning director at Barton Willmore, said: “To fill the remaining gap, underused poor quality greenspace should be looked at and taken forward, with Green Belt acknowledged as something that will be required, but as a last resort.

“The missing part of the jigsaw is those authorities that have identified brownfield land that would fulfil less than 30% of housing need, such as Bury, Stockport and Trafford. Some of these authorities are already looking at how the land supply gap can be filled. Bury in particular is looking at open land, underused greenspace and reviewing Green Belt land to address housing need in the long term.”

The government set local authorities a deadline of 31 December to publish a register of brownfield land suitable for housing. The five sites with the capacity to deliver the most homes are:

  • Holt Town (Manchester): 4,348 new homes
  • South of Hindley, (Wigan): 2,000 new homes
  • Hindley Green, (Wigan): 1,539 new homes
  • Media City (Salford): 1,395 apartments
  • Trinity Island, St John’s (Manchester): 1,390

“The largest identified brownfield site is Holt Town in Manchester, which is being delivered by Manchester City Council in partnership with the owners of Manchester City Football Club,” said Dickson. “Brownfield land is rightly the first port of call for delivering new homes, but only makes up part of the land supply needed for housing. The submission of the registers is a starting point for local authorities to identify and plan how to meet housing need.”