How shopping centres can help Greater Manchester meet housing targets
The new Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has signalled his intention to radically review the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and within it the role that green belt land will play in delivering new homes.
As part of that objective, he has issued a call to developers to revitalise and reshape Greater Manchester’s town centres so that they are residential centres fit for the future.
With 227,000 new homes required in Greater Manchester by 2035, can revitalising existing shopping centres play a strong role in meeting the GMSF’s housing targets?
Increasingly shopping centre landlords are taking a creative approach to their assets. In response to a shift in consumer habits and a requirement to modernise, landlords have sought to provide a much wider offer to increase attraction and dwell times within shopping centres. This has resulted in new and re-imagined forms of attractions in shopping centres with an increased emphasis on leisure floorspace.
London has led the way with around a third of its shopping centres subject to redevelopment plans and crucially all of the plans accommodate delivering new homes as part of the proposals.
In Greater Manchester, recent activity has seen Regency Residential’s Six Acre House above The Square Shopping Centre in Sale deliver 80 new homes and the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund has recently issued a Development Framework, supported by Manchester City Council, for the delivery of 195 new homes as part of the planned redevelopment of Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre.
A town centre’s residential offer can make a strong contribution to its quality of place and how that place is perceived. This in turn can contribute significantly to the economic competitiveness of the town centre.
Greater Manchester has approximately 50 shopping centres all located in accessible urban areas with good links to public transport that lend themselves to high density development.
Shopping centres can therefore play a significant role in meeting the GMSF’s housing targets by delivering mixed-use schemes with high density residential development, which can in turn boost the economic profile of the town centre.