Green belt development

Manchester becomes England's first area to develop over a third of its green belt

Manchester has developed more than a third of its green belt (34.3%), making it the first local authority area to do so in England, according to the latest research.

Project Etopia analysed green belt data, which was published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The modular homes developer’s analysis of the published data revealed that the proportion of Manchester’s green belt residential developments was just 0.1%, with more than 28.2% occupied by transport and utilities.

Other highlights from Project Etopia’s analysis included:

  • the average proportion of green belt land that has been developed across England is at 8.4%
  • the largest proportion of residential development in any green belt was the 2.7% recorded in Mid Sussex
  • Wolverhampton had the second-highest proportion of overall development of its green belt (27.1%), followed by Blackpool (23.4%)

In addition, the proportion of homes built on green belt land has halved in a year, according to the MHCLG.

“The country faces a huge dilemma when it comes to where it builds the huge backlog of homes it needs, but the most major threats to green belt are not presented by residential developments,” said Joseph Daniels, CEO at Project Etopia.

“What these figures show is that there are huge opportunities to use sites that are already developed where provision of homes within green belts is truly unavoidable.”

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