GMCA hunts for director to head up property unit

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is looking for a director of land and property to lead the support team for the Land Commission, a new body in charge of devolved planning powers, set to launch in January 2016.

The creation of the Greater Manchester Land Commission was announced as part of a wave of devolution powers given to the region by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in July.

The commission will have greater planning powers including making Compulsory Purchase Orders to manage development around publicly owned sites.

To support the commission and its board, GMCA has proposed the creation of a delivery unit, led by a new director of land and property, and supported by senior professionals with skills in strategic asset management, programme management, and planning and land use.

The unit is being funded by £300,000 from the GMCA and the Local Enterprise Partnership, and £400,000 from the Government Property Unit.

The delivery unit will include the HCA-funded Greater Manchester Place team, and will manage relationships with external organisations such as the Government Property Unit and NHS Property Services.

Following the endorsement of plans at the latest meeting of Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday 18 December, the Land Commission is due to meet in January to agree initial terms and a workplan.

The Land Commission will have an overview of all publicly-owned land in the region, including that owned by government and other public sector bodies. The new body will look at and co-ordinate how that land can be used to support Greater Manchester’s wider ambitions, including the need for 10,000 new homes a year to support its growing economy and communities.

The body will be led by a board, made up of local authority chief executives, and representatives from the Homes & Communities Agency, Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester. The board will be chaired by Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and also head of GMCA’s paid service.

According to a spokesperson for GMCA, the post of director of land will be subject to evaluation and will be advertised in due course.

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