In her latest column, Tameside Council leader Councillor Brenda Warrington discusses the authority's plans to develop the Godley Green Garden Village in Hyde.
It’s no secret to anybody that Britain is currently in the grip of a housing crisis. Estimates have put the number of new homes needed to satisfy demand in England alone at up to 345,000 a year, but in 2019/20 our total housing stock nationally only increased by around 244,000.
The government has committed itself to a target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, and they have passed down targets for the number of houses that local authorities, such as ourselves, are required to build in our area.
While we have no control over the number of homes we are required to build, we do - if we have a plan to meet the target - have influence over how and where these are delivered.
While the temptation would be to just build enough to achieve our targets and be done with it, I believe that we should be bolder.
That’s why we’ve chosen to make housebuilding an essential part of our overall inclusive growth strategy, combining new homes with investment in better jobs and green public transport.
Our development of the Godley Green Garden Village is essential to both reaching our housebuilding targets, and fulfilling our ambitions for driving inclusive and environmentally-sustainable growth in Tameside.
Once complete, the Garden Village will deliver 25 per cent of the council’s housing target through the construction of over 2,000 high quality homes. Wider infrastructure will be provided by GPs’ surgeries, schools, transport and two multi-purpose community centres.
The location of the development, with easy access to the Peak District, Manchester and Stockport, also allows for the construction of extensive and efficient cycling and other public transport infrastructure.
But our ambitions for Godley Green do not stop there, as we intend for nothing less than making the development a national exemplar for others to follow. We’re currently holding engagement sessions on the masterplan for the site prior to submitting for planning permission, and it is also our intention that this consultation and discussion will continue over the entire 15 year lifespan of the project.
I truly believe that the Godley Green Garden Village is a once in a lifetime chance to do something really bold and different with housing in our borough.
Over the next few years I look forward to updating you all on the progress of the development, as well as our other plans to build fairer, better and greener in Tameside.