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Finding alternative sites to build: Greater Manchester

25th June 2019

CPRE Lancashire has developed the Brownfield Land Register Toolkit to facilitate our work with planners and members of the community to identify sites that are missing from Local Authority Brownfield Registers, with the aim of reducing pressure to develop in the countryside by highlighting previously-developed sites, which are generally in more sustainable locations.


Initially we held meetings with planners from both Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region. All were generally accepting of the Toolkit, and agreed to have a link. Bury and Rochdale have a form to submit sites on their website, we think partly as a consequence of our engagement.

Rochdale residents complete brownfield toolkit

Planners noted that the Brownfield Register only forms part of the land supply intelligence. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment is a larger dataset of which the Brownfield Register is a part. For example, in Greater Manchester 87% of land is identified in the spatial framework land supply, on GMODIN (Greater Manchester Open Data Infrastructure Map) mapping , which is comprehensive.

We endorse the approach of the Local Nature Partnerships, who are progressing research about the biodiversity net gains (benefits) of sites in areas in areas of deficit.

Looking for missing brownfield sites in Oldham
Looking for missing brownfield sites in Oldham

In Greater Manchester, we worked with the Save Greater Manchester Green Belt Group, which has some 44,558 followers, and links with 42 separate groups, and organised 9 training sessions with 39 representatives from 28 campaigns groups.

In total 56 Toolkits were completed. Sites were checked against the GMODIN (Greater Manchester Open Data Infrastructure Map) map.
• 40 Missing sites were forwarded to the Local Planning Authority to support the process of updating the Brownfield Register.
• 74 hectares in total were identified.
• 74 hectares of greenfield land saved!
• This alternative land could potentially accommodate 2,960 dwellings.

Download the Brownfield Toolkit for Manchester here


Locating brownfield sites missing from the register
Locating brownfield sites missing from the register in Tameside
Quernmore landscape