Wigan hits house building target for first time in five years

House building targets hit
House building targets hit

Wigan has hit a housing delivery target for the first time in five years, according to a town hall report.

For 2017/18 a total of 948 homes were built across the borough, meeting the 944 requirement set by the government.

Becca Heron

Becca Heron

Councillors will also hear that the local authority is now deemed to have a five-year supply of housing land, which strengthens its position against inappropriate development.

A housing delivery programme update from Becca Heron, director for economy and skills, says, “it is imperative that this position is maintained”.

It comes days after the latest draft of the city-region’s wide-ranging development blueprint – the GM spatial framework – was unveiled.

The master plan outlines how the delivery of more than 20,000 houses may take place in the borough over the next two decades.

Members of the confident places scrutiny committee will hear that supported housing schemes in Goose Green, Orrell and Winstanley contributed to housing numbers in 2018.

The report reads: “The council is achieving its Local Housing Need for the first time since the Core Strategy was adopted in 2013.

“The borough is now delivering housebuilding at a pace that meets its housing requirement.

“However that pace needs to be maintained and we will ensure that our focus for 2019 increases towards bringing forward our brownfield sites, stalled sites, and key town centre sites.”

Ms Heron adds that not having a five-year supply of housing land ‘weakens the council’s ability to resist development in inappropriate locations’.

The latest draft of the GMSF will go out to consultation later this month and has cut the amount of green belt earmarked for development across the borough.

It outlines sites for around 21,000 houses – around 60 per cent of which will be on brownfield land.

But it does mean the annual rate of housing delivery will need to increase in order to meet targets once the plan is adopted, replacing the previous local plan.

A town hall spokesperson said: “The number of homes for the borough which will be supplied under the GMSF is 21,400 up to 2037, from a total land supply for 23,092 homes needed to provide flexibility and choice.

“The annual requirement is 1,126 homes, which is almost identical to the annual requirement in the first draft GMSF in 2016 (1,125).

“This will both meet the borough’s housing target and support Greater Manchester’s housing target.”

The confident places scrutiny committee was due to meet today.