Brownfield sites to be transformed with hundreds of homes

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 28 July 2021

Two ‘challenging’ brownfield sites in Oldham are to be transformed with more than 400 homes after the town hall manage to win £6.5m government cash.

The authority has ‘provisionally’ secured the funding from the Brownfield Housing Fund to enable a mix of 415 homes to be build on long term vacant sites in Derker and Mumps.

Bosses say that both schemes will include a mix of affordable housing which will be let to those in housing need on the housing register.

Council leader Arooj Shah told a meeting of the cabinet that the clean up of the two sites meant they could build ‘much needed new homes’.

The biggest spend will take place on a brownfield site near Southlink Business park, where £4.5m of funding will be used to deliver up to 265 homes.

The land, which includes part of the former railway line around Mumps, is jointly owned by the council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

A second site off London Road and Abbotsford Road in Derker will be transformed with £2m of cash to build around 150 homes.

The land is council owned and was cleared a decade ago as part of the housing market renewal programme.

The Brownfield Housing Fund is a government scheme which aims to unlock brownfield land for development.

Councillor Hannah Roberts, cabinet member for housing, said: “Oldham council’s approach has always been brownfield first.

"These schemes will bring much-needed new, affordable, modern homes to Oldham.

“They will regenerate land that has stood empty for far too long and they will support our commitment to protect the borough’s precious green belt and open spaces from development, as outlined in the latest draft of Places for Everyone.

“We will apply for planning permission as soon as possible to get going on building the homes people need.”

Chiefs say they want the homes to be low carbon and highly energy efficient to underpin the council’s ambitions to be the greenest borough in Greater Manchester.

Deputy council leader Coun Abdul Jabbar said the funding was ‘genuinely really welcome’.

“Obviously as a local authority and a borough we desperately need additional homes and sometimes the reason why we’re not able to progress some sites is because of the contamination and the land issues,” he added.

“These grants will help us deliver high quality homes, including I hope some green features in those homes that will deliver clean renewable energy for the occupiers.”

The cabinet has agreed to progress funding agreements – with plans for both Derker and Southlink schemes needing to progress at pace to start on-site by the end of next year.

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