On Saturday, Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool city region, called on the government to provide £200m funding to clean up brownfield sites and make them ready for development.
Rotherham made the comments as the combined authority prepares to consider a new statement, setting out its vision for housing across the city region.
He said everybody “should have the right to a safe and comfortable place to call home”, but that a national housing crisis meant “this is out of reach for too many people in our city region”.
“We desperately need to build more homes and this new housing statement sets out a clear plan of action. A key focus is on speeding up the delivery of new houses, through a brownfield first approach to preserve our green spaces as best we can,” he said.
Rotheram said his team had identified 700 brownfield sites across the six local authorities of the Liverpool City region, which is enough land to build 42,000 homes.
However, Rotheram said this would be expensive “because of our industrial legacy”.
“That’s that’s why I’m calling on the government to provide the £200m we need to make them housebuilding ready – so we can get on with the job,” he said.
In planning terms, any land that has been previously developed is classed as brownfield. In the Liverpool City Region, much of this land is derelict and formerly industrial so must be cleaned up before it can be redeveloped.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Liverpool City region portfolio holder for housing, said the housing statement was “an important statement of intent”.
He added that the combined authority and constituent local authorities would work with a coalition of partners to drive “real change”.
“This includes our local housing associations, private house-builders, and Homes England, with whom we are already working closely to build an evidence base, identify sites and get spades in the ground,” he said.