Eutopia Homes Salford 1 Edited
Eutopia's £105m residential scheme is being built on across two brownfield sites in Salford

GM brownfield sites ‘could yield 119,000 homes’

Dan Whelan

Greater Manchester has 1,500 undeveloped brownfield sites across its 10 boroughs, which could be used to deliver more than half of the 201,000 homes the combined authority wants to build by 2024, according to a report. 

The target was set in the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy, adopted in 2019. 

Manchester City Council has the largest number of registered brownfield sites, at 527, which equates to space for 61,000 homes, according to the report by Edaroth, a subsidiary of multidisciplinary consultancy Atkins. 

Salford’s 278 brownfield sites could be redeveloped to provide 24,000 homes, while Rochdale and Bolton have 151 brownfield sites each but Bolton’s sites cover an area of 528 acres meaning it could yield 8,586 homes compared to Rochdale’s 311 acres, which could potentially yield 5,348. (See table, below). 

Local authorities should prioritise using modern construction methods for redeveloping brownfield sites, which “tend to be located in urban areas that are often deemed too difficult to build on”, the report said.

GM Brownfield Sites Table

Wigan has the fewest registered brownfield sites. Source: Edaroth

Greater Manchester could also meet its target of 30,000 new-build social homes by 2024 from its brownfield sites, the report entitled Unlocking the Greater Manchester Housing Challenge, found.

The scale of underused brownfield land “provides an opportunity to eradicate the housing waiting list, which stood at 99,898 in 2019”, the report said.

An increase in demand for social housing has coincided with a fall in council-owned stock. In 1994, Greater Manchester councils owned 263,571 homes, but this has since fallen by 77% to 60,000 homes. 

Edaroth managing director Mark Powell said: “While the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has a clear housing strategy in place, there is still a need to accelerate plans to provide affordable homes where people want to live, work and prosper.”

He added: “Much of the brownfield land in Greater Manchester is located within existing communities with better than average access to schools, healthcare and economic centres, providing and enduring more positive outcomes for residents and local authority landlords.”

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Houses with gardens are needed, not more flats

By Bob

We need a lot more AFFORDABLE homes being built, not all swanky high rise expensive tower blocks that cost about £200,000 for a small 1bed flat.. There is thousands and thousands of people living in bedsits, hotels basically temporary accommodation waiting for a home and about a thousand citizens living on the streets in the GM areas. All the council’s should make this a priority. Build social housing.

By Darren born and bred in Salford

119k dwellings by 2024, i.e. 3.5 years from now; are you having a laugh because its not funny, not a chance of delivering that number in GM, not now, not ever. And like Bob says given the current situation who is going to want to live in such high density development; overseas investors might snap them up but do real people who live here want them now, I suspect not. Time for a radical rethink on how we house our growing populations in good quality homes with space outside. Some will be able to be on PDL for sure but dare I say we are going to have to look to the Green Belt but that should be no surprise.

By Just Sayin

Why is Rochdale planning to build 1000 houses on greenbelt land ?
Also a school,industrial units plus a link road to carry heavy goods vehicles from theM 62 to Pilsworth industrial park .
This will destroy greenbelt land forever

By D. Alston

@Bob, no, we don’t need more low density housing, low density housing will contribute to our traffic crisis and increase sprawl which is not a good thing. This has proven to be bad urban design in a city the size of MCR. We need more mid density or higher, especially around transport nodes. These midrises need bigger balconies though. Mid density housing doesn’t need to be tiny flats with pocket balconies.


I think Rochdale (and other areas) are doing what is needed to survive. A lil soggy greenbelt,,,, we got the Peaks (national Park), Saddleworth Moor, the Pennines all natural boundaries. The only real sprawl is to be found West. The furthest North West slice of GM. However 1500 brownfield sites around GM have been identified,, every one of them should be developed. I think the future is 3-6 story’s, roof gardens and quality planting, scaping. Also housing in this form is a better deployment of renewable energy. This is what affordable housing will look like

By Robert Fuller

Why not speed up development along Dantzic St and the Irk Valley ? This seems to be left as an eyesore for ages. City centre sites and all thats done is proposals and reports the past 15 years.

By George Roberts

You’d have thought one thing this lockdown has taught us for new housing is that some kind of private outdoor space is essential. Too many tower blocks these days have poor balcony space or indeed none at all

By Disgruntled Goat

So, the penny has finally dropped.

By A Cynical

Great, but planning system needs an overhaul considering the current global epidemic and downturn in the economy. Brownfield sites often come with nasty surprises and while enforcing the submission £000s worth of site reports etc… which may be great for the Local Planning Authorities it wouldn’t surprise me that its one of many reasons why it puts developers off. All you need is one neighbour objecting on flimsy grounds moaning to a Councillor for the ball to start rolling for refusal (I’ll never vote for you again syndrome) and then all that money spent on consultants wasted. Maybe streamline applications, make use of planning conditions for expensive reports, at least that way a developer will have the comfort of a permission and the Council will still get their reports to review prior to commencement…?

By Aevis

There is nothing new in this report. The problem is that housing provision is left to the market. And the market is not there to subsidise affordable housing. Housing need public intervention and subsidy like transport.

By Old news

This is the most pointless and vacuous report I’ve ever seen. Its basis is a lazy and idiotic assumption the brownfield sites necessarily developable and can be developed within 5 years. Many will be unsuitable for housing, many others will be unviable, and yet more undeliverable (certainly not within 5 years). The people who commissioned this report, and those that wrote it, clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding of the practicalities of development.


No analysis of viability. The inconvenient truth is that affordable housing, planning contributions, land value and developer profit can seldom all be achieved on brownfield sites, particularly in secondary areas. Post Covid it is likely the market will need more homes with gardens not shared spaces within rented blocks controlled by foreign investors or institutional funds.

By Mr B

Develop the brownfield sites as a priority, utilise land and buildings left derelict before ever using greenbelt.
Once the greenbelt is gone, it can never be retrieved. Do not be so shortsighted with the resources that are not yours to abuse.

If you must use the greenbelt do it wisely for the benefit of all – not a money making exercise for the few….but keep it greenbelt

By Michelle