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Sir Leese: 'MCR Is Full - We Need 4,000 New Homes A Year'

Council leader says lack of housing will hinder the city's economic growth

Written by . Published on August 11th 2014.


Sir Leese: 'MCR Is Full - We Need 4,000 New Homes A Year'
 

THE NEXT wave of city centre living will have to be 'better managed and of a better quality', according to Manchester city council leader Sir Richard Leese.

According to Leese, 'Manchester is full' and needs 3,500 to 4,000 new homes a year to keep up with the surge in population, mainly of 25-29 year olds which is expected to grow by 40%.

He told an Insider business breakfast discussing residential investment last week that development over the last ten years had left a clear message about raising standards and that badly managed blocks now blighted the market and the city.

He pledged that the City’s own development joint venture with Abu Dhabi United Group, Manchester Life, would deliver homes that raised the quality threshold.

Leese said: “They will have space and environmental standards that exceed what the market has been used to and the management standards will set new bench marks.”

He stated the appointment of Stirling Prize winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley to design the conversion of the important Murray's Mills site in Ancoats (by Royal Mills) was an indication of the design levels they were expecting.

“I think that will send very, very clear signs out," Leese explained. "What we are doing through Manchester Life is setting new standards of quality for the city.”

Murray's Mills, AncoatsMurray's Mills, Ancoats

He clearly does not want to repeat mistakes. “We should not ignore the fact that we still have significant developments which suffer from poor management and that is not good for anyone," he said.

He admitted afterwards that he does not believe there is much the city council can do to rectify this problem. A disappointingly defeatist stance from the council leader.

One thing the council could do is offer practical help to people in those rotten developments to gain control over their own building through the Right To Manage process. Its incredibly complex and complicated and having a council funded expert to help and advise would give many more Manchester residents the courage to take ownership and oust bad management companies.

It is being done (see Dale Street and Granby House ) but it’s a hard slog and a little bit of practical help from the city would not go amiss, even some legal advice ahead of Landlord Valuation Tribunals. It will be interesting to see if Cllr Kevin Peel’s investigation and resolution committee amounts to anything.

The Radisson Hotel hosted the breakfastThe Radisson Hotel hosted the breakfast

Back in the room at the Radisson Hotel there were a couple of interesting announcements. The biggest at 28 storeys bring the Axis Tower to go up on Whitworth Street West by the Property Alliance Group.

This is the sort of scheme that should delight Sir Richard, a sophisticated tower of high-end apartments on a gateway site into the city which you can bet will have the slickest of management companies. It has been designed by the Manchester office of 5plus Architects, RIBA’s emerging architects of the year in the North West.

Johnny Caddick, one half of the Moda Living brand with Generate Land added a bit of detail to their Angel Meadows development at NOMA, probably Manchester‘s first official Private Rental Scheme (PRS) scheme of 450 units but yet to go to planning.

This is aimed at aspiring professionals who want a quality place to live, somewhere to show off to their mates but so high spec they probably cannot afford to buy it. A lobby like a five-star hotel, various levels of furniture fit-out, broadband, gym, cinema, meeting/dining room, concierge, gardens, laundry, cold room for grocery deliveries. The list goes on.

They want to make renting a lifestyle choice rather than a necessity. This also means people stay longer, they tell friends, a community forms so voids are less and investors are happier. The circle is squared.

Also at the residential investment breakfast and part of the panel was embattled Urban Splash boss Tom Bloxham. You have to admire his gall but there was a shuffling of feet when he joined the debate and said that what people wanted was “bloody good flats and bloody good houses. Quality, quality, quality.”

They certainly do. Residents wanted that at the Urban Splash development Timber Wharf. They wanted that at the Chips development in Ancoats, where security is still abysmal.

Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban SplashTom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash

Splash are about to launch HoUSe in New Islington on a plot that was originally earmarked for the self build Tutti Frutti devlopment - the inspiration for which was lifted from Borneo Sporenburg, Amsterdam. It's a twenty first century answer to terraced housing for families, modular units built in a factory and craned onto site. You buy one or two depending on your budget and need for space and stack them up.

Who is actually going to be putting them together on site they couldn’t tell me yet.

That the meeting room was packed for a 7.30am start shows just how much the market has changed and just how keen people are to hook into this latest Manchester property boom.

According to Leese, 'Manchester is full' and needs 3,500 to 4,000 new homes a year to keep up with the surge in population, mainly of 25-29 year olds which is expected to grow by 40%.

Past years have seen barely 1,000 begun - but that appears to have altered almost overnight.

Steve Hogg from JLL says that nine schemes delivering 1,500 apartments are already on site with many more in the pipeline.

Leese was asked whether the 6,000 new homes planned by Manchester Life for East Manchester would skew the market and lead to an oversupply.

He said: “Go back to the figures. The agreement will deliver one and a half of a years supply over ten years. That’s actually not enough. We need other people to come in and build as well.

“Not having enough good quality, well-managed housing of all tenures will hinder Manchester’s economic growth.”

HoUSe designsHoUSe designs

He talked about the scale of development and the ability of the aligned Manchester Place to put sites together which should allow proper communities to develop rather than individual ad-hoc blocks - 'place making' is the new buzz phrase.

Interestingly though he cited the Gay Village and the Northern Quarter as examples of places that had survived and thrived better than other areas. “Why? Because they are good places to live, they have the attributes that people want,” he explained.

Ironic then, that these are the two most organic, least master-planned, most wonderfully characterful ad hoc areas in the city. Can we recreate them in New Islington and Ancoats? Can you design that character in?

Leese made short work of a resident in Great Northern Tower who claimed that the noise from pop-up bars and clubs was 'horrendous', and that noise was an issue that should be considered by the council for residents’ quality of life.

His retort that cities are lively and noisy and that’s the way they should be. “If you don’t like noise then don’t move there” got Leese a round of applause.

There is a Klondike like rush to develop, not just in Manchester city centre but on the Salford border where 5,000 new properties are in the pipeline and standards of space and quality of design and landscaping may not be quite as exacting.

Axis Tower for Whitworth Street WestAxis Tower for Whitworth Street West

This bit of Salford should be Manchester’s northern suburb, bigger apartments around green squares, low density quality family housing stretched along the Irwell or edging the canal with good connectivity to the city centre but calmer and more neighbourly with space to breathe. Somewhere to not get cross with the noise of people enjoying themselves.

This connectivity should have been gripped a decade ago. With the recent joined up thinking on transport right across the major northern cities surely Manchester and Salford should be aspirational and able to agree on how this crucial border area should be developed for the greater long term good.

Property prices in the city centre have already gone up from £300sqft to £400sqft and above since January, with rents predicted to rise another 10%. For Manchester to avoid the madness of the London market there needs to be a steady supply of new, high quality homes available to rent or to buy. Well built, well insulated and well maintained homes delivered by quality management.

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129 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

Is Leese in favour of more house building so young people can have a place to live?or does he simply just want to drive up the population of the city,in the believe that this is a engine to growth.If it is the latter has he actually asked people in the city if they want significant population growth every decade and the pressures that will put on transport,schools and hospitals.Also where are all these new arrivals going to come from?,is Manchester going to be sweeping up the young and talented from other North West towns in the way London has done in the South East ?.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 11th 2014.

"3,500 to 4,000 new homes a year to keep up with the surge in population, mainly of 25-29 year olds which is expected to grow by 40%." So that would be a very obvious yes.

HbiffAugust 11th 2014.

Insane the things people find to whinge about. A successful city = more people coming = a more successful city. If there's more people then build more / expand schools and hospitals. Celebrate the ambition or, if you like Anonymous, you can sit there and worry if Widnes has enough plumbers.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 11th 2014.

Don't be daft HBIFF, don't you understand that Manchester was better when everything was falling down and no-one wanted to live here? Joking aside, the problem with people who moan for the sake of moaning (dedicated fault-finders) is that when there IS something worth moaning about, those who should be listening have often stopped bothering.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

More and more people is not a sign of economic or cultural advancement.Manchester had if anything a much more dynamic music scene back in the late 1980s when it had a substantial smaller population.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 11th 2014.

How very boring you must be, Anon. In the late 1980s there was no MIF, no Bridgewater Hall, no Jazz Festival, no Lowry, no NQ Festival... so on ad infinitum. All of which are interlinked with the grown population. Yours seems to be the dismal, narrow-minded 'my Manchester is the only Manchester that counts' attitude. Times change. Places change. Some people don't change, and that's very sad for them. The rest of us enjoy being part of a busier, livelier, culturally richer city.

HbiffAugust 11th 2014.

ANONYMOUS was born in 1973, wears a parka, loves adidas and has a greying bowlhead haircut.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

There is no interlinking between the cultural facilities of the the 1990s,that were provided by the Tory government of the time and the the massive rise in population this century.That has far more to be with Labour who deliberately increased immigration because of the perceived electoral advantage to them.

GimboidAugust 11th 2014.

Oh and now its a party political argument? Great. I mean zzz. Yeah, all those immigrants filling the thousands of expensive apartments in town built mostly since the millennium. Right you are Anon, you total hero.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

..... and isn't there a view that the vibrancy of the music scene was a response to lack of opportunity elsewhere? Heaven knows, some of them sounded pretty miserable.....

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Bottom up organisation was better than the top down corporate art we're served with now. Commercial leisure activities dressed up as art don't make a vibrant culture, they make a tourist town.

Kevin PeelAugust 11th 2014.

As a city centre councillor I welcome the commitment to better quality and better managed blocks and the taskforce I'm currently chairing will be producing a series of recommendations to assist that in the autumn (residents' suggestions welcome - e-mail me). We continue to make the case within the council for better amenities and green space to match growth of residential properties in the city centre and of course we do believe that noise is an issue and just living in the city centre doesn't mean people should be subject to excessive noise at all hours of the day and night. We are constantly making this case in front of the licensing committee and we are often successful in setting tough but fair conditions which protect the balance between the city centre as a vibrant night time destination and as a residential neighborhood.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

If you stopped acting like Hazel Blears and demonstrated some independence of thought from the Labour leadership of this city then people might listen to what you say Kevin .

Kevin PeelAugust 11th 2014.

And when you put your name to lies and accusations I'll bother to answer them, Anon.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Kevin...you're obsessed with spin. Will your recommendations be adopted?

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Each time I try to login to post, it crashes my computer. That doesn't happen posting as anonymous, so why not answer the question rather than try to smear the questioner? Do you think that people should put their names on their ballot slip, too? You sound like you're finding excuses to distract from the truth there, Kevin, because you don't have a credible answer to a credible comment.

AdamAugust 15th 2014.

That anon is not me Kev but love the way as they question you, you unleash the rage. However, living in Granby House many had given up including me. It has taken four very determined individuals prepared to take risks. As I'm not allowed to contact you - as dared to call you out on your behaviour, where criticism is called 'harassment' apparently. A very democratic response that isn't inflammatory at all. I hope, knowing how hard these people worked, you do not try and steal the limelight for their efforts, resilience and real leads. But knowing you, you probably will! Also the advise was not exactly forthcoming as of how to respond to the petition that got over 100 residents signatures was it. You didn't know what to do with them. Well I always hope I won't need to come at you for comments but the Hazel Blears comparison above I think is quite succinct. Nice how you completely ignored me at the tribunals too Kev when I was completely prepared to build bridges and accept a mutual apology for bad behaviour, something you appear not to be humble enough for. Though kudos where it is due, you did manage to sit through that boring, long, long meeting. Well the game of politics and those who rise.... 'lies and accusations'? Sure. PS: lovely meeting with your colleague the other day, who has much more maturity and receptivity to questions and 'negativity' as a leader.

Paula TaylorAugust 11th 2014.

Well may be if the government and councils clamped down on cowboy developers who leave a lot of issues for their buyers, who the landlords dont see as there problem, there might be a better balance. When developers and builders put their profit before peoples needs and archaic planning laws approve ludicrous plans these issues are going to go on and on and on

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Sir KennethAugust 11th 2014.

Developers are always going to put profits first they aren't charities.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Isn't that why they need to be regulated by the government and councils, Ken? Pity our Council is so friendly with so many large corporate developers, and so distant from the public.

JoanAugust 11th 2014.

As well as the badly managed blocks there's also a good number of well-managed blocks, and plenty of apartments of good quality. It's just we don' hear so much about them.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Absolutely right.....Leftbank is ace to live in

MGSAugust 12th 2014.

HI Mike

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Vicus is nice :)

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

Are you freaking serious!!!! Why was Bloxham there and why is he taking the absolute proverbial???? Yes he churns out nice designs but the build quality is crap. There are 5 stories and numerous comments from residents on this site alone. Come on MCC, start listening to the people who have to live in theses developments instead of developers and architects. We aren't living in Madrid, this is Manchester and it rains a lot.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

Someone AKA Bloxham needs to learn when to get his head down. The blatant arrogance isn't helping his case at all.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

'Splash are about to launch HoUSe in New Islington'? They could make right Timber Wharrf first don't you think? '...the surge in population, mainly of 25-29 year olds...'? I thought that age group are still living at home because they can't afford to buy! Oh I see!...4000 rental properties?

SoapysudsAugust 11th 2014.

Where does Richard Leese get his facts, because they are not based on reality. In 2013, there where 209,138 dwellings in Manchester, of which 5,399 (2.58%) were empty, with 2,780 (1.33%) being long term empty. This is despite the council policy of whole-scale demolition of perfectly fit-to-live-in council dwellings. Also in 2013, net migration was 3,660 OUT of Manchester. If you look on the councils web-site, net migration out of the City has been going on for some years. When are other council members, realise Leese is not fit to be a councillor, let alone leader. He continually follows a spiral of Do-Fail-Do-Fail-Do-Fail. As has Tom Bloxham, who never delivered what was promised in 2000, at great cost to EU and UK tax-payers.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

A very poor analysis Soapysuds, go to the bottom of the class. What the statistics on the Council's website show is that the population of Manchester has grown every year for the past 12 years. 2013 was the only year in which net migration was negative because international immigration was less than internal out-migration but the overall population still grew because it was more than offset by births being much higher than deaths. You also neglected to consider that a substantial proportion of internal out-migration will be to other boroughs in Greater Manchester (effectively the wider city-area). Building more and better housing within the city of Manchester supports the city centre economy (which in turn drives the economy of the whole of GM and beyond) and helps build more sustainable inner city communities. The empty homes you refer to are overwhelmingly in the private sector. This is not necessarily an indicator of weak demand, but of relatively weak demand for a certain type of housing (older terraced housing without secure parking or gardens) or certain locations (generally stigmatised inner city areas). Again, building more, high quality housing that people aspire to live in, near to employment centres will help sustain those communities and provide incentive to those private owners to invest in their empty properties again. It really is a win-win as long as the new housing is high quality.

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

The younger generations are forced into commuting into Manchester increasingly because that's where all the employment opportunities are concentrate.Yet a decade worth of yearly above inflation increases in train ticket prices,is taking more and more of a proportion their income.Yet if they aspire to live in Manchester now,the property prices compared to the 1990s are increasingly out of their reach.

Soapysuds shared this on Facebook on August 11th 2014.
BAR MANAGERAugust 11th 2014.

As a business manager in the city centre I truly wish more people would take Sir Richard's advice and if you don't want noise don't move into the city centre! It causes no END of problems when people complain about noise when they move above a bar... you know the bar is there before you move in in the majority of cases!!!! The suburbs are made for those who want some peace and quiet!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

I like the idea of this public-private partnership driving up construction and space standards. Hopefully this will lead to better better sound insulation too.

JoanAugust 11th 2014.

Actually the situation with bars and neighbours is a bit more complicated. We can't run the city on an 'I was there first' basis, and even if we could there's lots of new bars as well as longer opening hours and outdoor smoking for existing bars. We need a balance, and good communication. City centre Councillors have launched a 'Good Neighbour' policy which seems to work well for those who sign up to it.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Paris has truly terrible nightlife these days and that's because of a decade of noise restrictions.The reason for this is politicians if they want to keep their jobs listen to the older and richer people who are actually resident and vote,and not the young people who frequent the bars but don't live in the centre of cities.Your wrong Joan there cannot be a balance,in the end the residents will get there way.

ShybaldbuddhistAugust 12th 2014.

There can be a balance. I've not heard of any complaints or campaigns from people who live near The Ritz, The Deaf Institute, The Academy, The Apollo, The Arena. They all work with their neighbours. It's the places that have the 'we were here first attitude' and think they can turn the music up as load as they want without retribution that are the problem.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

To Shybaldbuddhist why would you have heard of any complaints between a venue and a resident? They don't all air their complaints in public. I can assure you that at least two of your mentioned venues do have regular complaints, not necessarily about noise, but complaints non the less. I know, cause I work in one of them.

ShybaldbuddhistAugust 12th 2014.

And does the venue you work for listen to the complaints and work with the residents? If not i suppose we'll all hear about it in the future just like we have with N&D.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

We try our best to work with residents, sometimes expectations (on both sides I must say) are unrealistic. Let's just say, you are right, you probably will hear of more disputes in the future.  

Susan PineAugust 12th 2014.

In line with our rant policy this post has been removed: www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/…/Rant-And-Comment-Policy-Manchester-Confidential… - EDITORIAL

Simon TurnerAugust 12th 2014.

So glad Tom Bloxham was there. As Peter Saville once said "Urban Splash are an exemplary organisation. It doesn’t behave in the predictable company way. Their buildings feel like they’ve been made by people who care about them. The attention to detail is incredible.”

5 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkAugust 12th 2014.

He's obviously never lived in one

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

That would be difficult as he's not lived in Manchester for years.

rinkydinkAugust 12th 2014.

Think you're taking the comment a bit literally there. I would also have no idea where he lives and neither am I interested, clever clogs

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Since the death of his brother and the whole Op. Yewtree thing, Peter's had to keep a low profile.

rinkydinkAugust 13th 2014.

Too much information, really

MGSAugust 12th 2014.

Make renting a lifestyle - surely part of the issue with management and quality etc. is about ownership?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Absolutely. The history of Manchester has some very sage reminders of the reality of unregulated absentee landlords and allowing free market economics dictate housing policy without the accompanied investment in necessary services and amenities like schools, medical centres and well managed green spaces: bit.ly/1AaT2cA…. This model of buy-to-let and 100% managed PRS is more about economic value to bankers, financiers and the short-termism of the FTSE construction companies rather than solving the housing crisis. More scandalously, proposals such as the speculative NOMA /Co-op’s scheme Angel Gardens ,which has been heavily backed by public money through the ERDF, actually prevents the taxpayer from sharing in that investment opportunity on the open market.

AncoatsAugust 12th 2014.

Fair enough to have a go at Urban Splash. However there are other 'villains' in this story. It has always shocked me, after hearing about and experiencing shocking 'service' from management companies that no journalists seem brave enough to take them on even though there must be a story there - why?

1 Response: Reply To This...
MGSAugust 12th 2014.

i suspect someone at MANCON has an axe to grind with US

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Let's talk about good and bad letting agents as well while we're at it.

AncoatsAugust 12th 2014.

There have been a few stories on Ancoats on this site - some positive some negative. Can't recall any thing about all the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) that Living City had taken out against them by residents in various blocks however. These were a combination of LVTs brought by individuals, floors or entire developments involving 60+ apartments. I have heard many stories about managing agents/ companies and experienced a few myself and it is appalling what they can get away with in the UK and just how powerless residents really are. Compared with other countries I have lived in the arrangement here is positively feudal. Of course the accounts are always as complex as can be possibly made. But if you take the time (a lot of time) to read them..... and as an example, find out you are being charged for the upkeep of emergency telephones in the lifts... even though there are no phones in the lifts.... well you basically have to take action to prove they don't exist. Are they getting the best quotes for cleaning.... or do they actually own a share in the 'preferred' supplier.... who just happens to charge way above market rates? And if residents do try to take collective action these companies will fight it tooth and nail with teams of lawyers etc employing all the time delaying , water muddying, divide and rule tactics against ordinary people with limited time and expertise. The fact that they spend so much on lawyers indicates just how lucrative it is to have submissive residents trapped in a monopoly supplier arrangement with no way out. And even of you are successful and they move in to the next victi... sorry 'customers', the new and hopefully better agents will be given accounts showing any money owed .... and out comes the lawyers letters demanding full payment for that invisible telephone charge from 5 years ago.... So I pose this question to the council and mr Peel - why has it taken so long to act? And what in reality will your actually do? You are our representatives and meant to work for the benefit of us - the voters that put you there. Yes it is good to be pro business and support the ' the job creators' But you have stood around and watched a feeding frenzy in which your constituents where victims. This issue has caused real hardship and disruption to hundreds and hundreds of peoples lives. It defies belief that you did not know what has and is going on.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AncoatsAugust 12th 2014.

And why are there no paragraphs on this site..... or did the managing agents not supply them?

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

hear hear

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

I agree with a previous suggestion that it would be helpful if the council could beef up their housing advice team to guide people through the process. But it strikes me that the main issue is one of legislation or lack of it, protecting the interests of tenants against these rip off merchants. This of course is a national issue and should be taken up by your MP rather than councils. National government also determine funding for councils and other advice services such as the CAB both of which have taken an absolute battering in recent years. Good luck though!

AncoatsAugust 12th 2014.

Is this a class thing - that residents caught up in managing agent hell are just yuppies or students and daddy will sort it out? That they some how deserve what they get for living in a single bedroom apartment. Imagine if hundreds of residents in Clayton of Miles Platting were being forced by big companies on threat of litigation to pay for services they never got... there would be an outcry with media coverage, councilors walking at the head of a march down old Mill st etc etc As I walk for my lunch to blocks down I will pass 4 buildings that have had major LVTs. Why is no one naming and shamming these cowboy companies? Why?

AncoatsAugust 12th 2014.

Mancon has done some really good investigative/ exploratory work on issues with individual buildings - it would be a hugely juicy story exposing management companies. Yes it is over all a sad story of woe and greed .... but there is comedy gold as well. Imaginary telephones is just the start!! I bet that your readership would not only applaud your efforts but would be queuing at your door to give you material!!!!

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

All these people complaining about landlords be careful what you wish for.You could end up with a system like France.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

This & That restaurant?

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

I've had the good fortune to visit Sir Richard's house. I shouldn't be telling you this but there is a secret cave underneath the house and in the middle there's a very large oak table and upon that is a huge scale model of Manchester. He would look at it for hours and discuss the detail with his labour cohorts, dodgy business men and various other shadowy figures over champagne and canapés. Think of the famous images of Hitler and Speer looking at the model of Germania and you'll get the picture. Sometimes Sir Richard wanted to be left in the cave on his own. When he spoke we all listened. For him it was clear. He saw a Manchester devoid of Mancunians and manufacturing industry. Instead It was to be full of southerners and foreigners living in glass towers where they could look down upon the illegal immigrant workforce below as London Road fire station burns in the distance because Library Walk and other streets are blocked with expensive cars and SUV's sporting disabled stickers preventing the fire brigade from dousing the flames. And then, over time, the wealthy people will once again leave the city centre and move to the suburbs where they belong, leaving those glass towers to become ghettos in the sky. Sir Richard's a visionary.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

The thing is, some of the comments on this site are so comically deranged and hysterical that it is not at all obvious whether this rant is ironic or genuine.

rinkydinkAugust 13th 2014.

I think someone is adverse to progress and sounds like he should be living in a cave...

rinkydinkAugust 13th 2014.

averse?

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

At least the major rant above is entertaining.

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

That rant could be one of yours Rinkydink!

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

Rinkydink isn't that good.

rinkydinkAugust 14th 2014.

One must never engage with anonymous posters

SoapysudsAugust 13th 2014.

Anonymous (or is that Richard Leese?). Net migration has been out of Manchester for some years now, if you look at the ONS figures. If Manchester was such a great place to live, why are people leaving? Is it because, we are top of the league for early male deaths or for deprivation? Is it because we have the highest unemployment in the Greater Manchester Region? With, 27,000 (16+) unemployed, 119,00 (16 - 64) people being economically inactive and 12,690 claimants. You did not respond to the fact we have over 5,000 empty dwellings in Manchester? Also 56% of the workplace population in Manchester commute in from different local authorities. As there is over 5,000 dwellings empty, it is not because of a lack of housing, is it now. Manchester City Council does not learn from its failures of the past. Following a continued spiral of failure by 'Do-Fail-Do-Fail-Do-Fail' cycle.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
JoanAugust 13th 2014.

Have a look at this, bottom of p 15 to top of p 16. www.manchesterpartnership.org.uk/…/communities_of_interest_2014…

GimboidAugust 13th 2014.

What ONS figures would they be, Soapysuds? Please give us a link. The city grew by a fifth between the censuses of 2001 and 2011.. have we experienced a drastic reversal in the last three years?

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

That's right Gimpboy. Walk through Piccadilly Gardens and down Market Street and you'll find one out of five people are foreign and not working. I'm not talkng about tourists by the way.

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

If I am a supermarket and all I offer is white bread which isn't selling it doesn't necessarily mean there is no demand for bread. It might in fact mean that demand is for brown bread. Likewise if my customers start shopping elsewhere it doesn't mean there is no latent demand. Correlation is not causation. I know it must be a bit embarrassing making an angry rant, sharing the article on Facebook then someone comes along and shows your poor logic up, but hopefully my bread analogy has cleared things up for you. And I think Richard Leese has better things to do than respond to anonymous rants on a website - you do flatter yourself Soapysuds!

GimboidAugust 13th 2014.

Well done Anon, you insulted me when my profile name is already a self-deprecating insult, that's certainly told me! Fuckwit.

AnonymousAugust 13th 2014.

To be clear the Anon @1:57 is different to the one (me) who posted later .

AnonymousAugust 14th 2014.

Awww...poor Gimpboy.

GimboidAugust 22nd 2014.

Only just noticed you posted the links Soapysuds. That is a worrying trend which I wasn't aware of before. Thinking positively we could put it down to the decline of jobs due to the recession which might now be reversing?

GimboidAugust 14th 2014.

Are you 13, Anon?

Poster BoyAugust 14th 2014.

Tom Bloxham. The Tony Blair of urban development.

Duke FameAugust 22nd 2014.

Leese is a walking ego who turns up at these bashes, talks rubbish and claims expenses. It's easy to sort out the housing 'crisis', the council owns more empty property than any other organisation in the city, sell this off, allow developers to transfer it to residential use and uncle Bob is here. Instead, after all these years you have Leese 'warning' us about manchester ibeing full. It's full of vacant property and you Dickie (no plan B) Leese are part of the problem.

14 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 22nd 2014.

Crikey, if it's as simple and easy as that to solve the housing crisis, I can't imagine why the council don't just do it. Oh hang on, maybe it's because it's actually a lot more complicated and difficult than that. Just selling off vacant property is no guarantee at all that it will be converted into housing, even if it was suitable for housing in the first place. There is plenty of privately owned property than has not been converted to residential use, that attests to the limited scope of your suggestion.

Duke FameAugust 24th 2014.

Not really, it shows the inability of local authority staff to deliver. It needs put into the private sector and then a solution is easily found. Leese politicises the situation, he creates a crisis in order to attach blame to the coalition. See for example his eagerness to blame 'cuts' for his councils inability to effectively prioritise spending.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Housing provision IS in the hands of the private sector. And it is failing us. If anything it is the public sector that needs more control of the situation to address the enduring market failures that have led us to the current crisis point.

GimboidAugust 24th 2014.

Duke, there are hundreds of hectares of privately-owned land, and dozens of empty privately-owned buildings, that the private sector are not using to deliver housing. You really don't have a clue.

Duke FameAugust 26th 2014.

Yet, Gimboid, the council have more empty property under their control than any other group. If it's not to be placed in private hands then the council should get on and do something with it. Instead we have Leese whining as if is not his fault.

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

'You really don't have a clue.' Ha, that's Gimboid's attitude to ManCon posters.

GimboidAugust 26th 2014.

Silly Anon, that's my attitude to uninformed people anywhere, and not to all Man Con posters.

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

@Gimboid Get slapped about much then?

Duke FameAugust 26th 2014.

It seems to me Gimboid that you are reduced to childish name-calling rather than debate the point. I'd accept that it's all private landlords' fault if the the council did not control so much of the empty property. You yourself only claim that there are "dozens" of properties unused within the whole of the private sector yet the council has hundreds. If the council think there is a problem, they can lead on this, a fact you seem unable to appreciate.

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

There are a few thousand empty houses in private ownership across the city whereas empty council houses amount to a fraction of this.

GimboidAugust 26th 2014.

I don't think pointing out what I consider to be ignorance is 'childish name-calling', but whatever. I honestly don't believe the council has hundreds of empty properties. What kind of property and where?

AnonymousAugust 27th 2014.

If you were really against childish name calling,you would stop doing it yourself.But you usually start just as soon as anyone is critical of your beloved council.Which of course you don't work for,vote for,or be a member of.

GimboidAugust 27th 2014.

Now this is strange, I seem to be in a kind of Fight Club style situation where someone else is holding both sides of a conversation with me... If you're going to be so tediously repetitive, please can you keep it in your own head Anon, it's most odd.

GimboidAugust 27th 2014.

And where did I say I am against childish name calling?

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

there is some good land for building on by Princess Avenue in Moss Side - the area needs more good quality private sector accommodation on brownfield sites to create a better balance with housing association accommodation. Also needs to be of a quality to attract home owners and not to buy to letters or private renters. This would have a beneficial effect on the area as a whole - be good to tip the city centre balance a bit southwards in this respect.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 25th 2014.

Sure. But the current model where private developers buy land, obtain planning permission and construct housing does not work. It creates perverse incentives to sit on land and restrict supply giving us small poky poorly built houses at extortionate prices with insufficient infrastructure. The market is broken.

Duke FameAugust 26th 2014.

This is not the current model though. It's not as if the local authority is not in control of over a million sq ft of empty property yet letting it rot. The local authority can do something about it but priorities are for Leese to massage his ego.

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

That IS the model though. You are literally making things up Duke.

AnonymousAugust 26th 2014.

Could you be specific DF? Give us some locations to justify your claim.

Duke FameAugust 27th 2014.

ANONYMOUS, it was in one of the nationals around 2-3 yrs ago, the Council either owned or operated as part of a sale / lease back huge amounts of empty property in the city. The policy seems to be to put in a large open plan reception with security to make it look busy but it's empty - the rent demands are kept high to avoid a crash in rentals. Even the swankier streets such as fountain st had council operated offices lying empty.

AnonymousAugust 27th 2014.

Sounds like absolute codswallop Duke. Link please. Besides what on earth has office space got to do with housing provision; or the few thousand neglected private properties lying empty across the city; or indeed the inability of house builders to satisfy demand for quality, spacious and well built housing close to the city centre?

Obollox The GaulAugust 27th 2014.

That's the funniest thing I've heard all day, Duke. Manchester's very own Potemkin village of offices? Nah, I don't think so. I will be amazed if there's any substantial truth to it. Please try to find the article. If it really was reported it would have resulted in a huge scandal, so it shouldn't be too hard to find online.

Duke FameAugust 29th 2014.

ANONYMOUS, buildings can easily be converted into residential use. There are masses of empty offices, business does not need loads of office space anymore as working patterns change. Rather than the council sit on it, why not resolve this housing 'crisis'? The article did not just pick on Manchester, councils are responsible for empty property accross the country. Labour led councils tend to be the worst culprits.

GimboidAugust 29th 2014.

For your suggestion to 'resolve' the housing crisis, you seem to presume that the private sector would be willing and able to do the conversions (rather than use them for any other purpose), and that the resulting residences created would be desirable, that they would be in places that people want to live, and they would be sold at a level that people can afford them. As I said, it's really not as simple as you'd like to think it is. Simply selling of council-owned property would not resolve the housing crisis.

AnonymousAugust 31st 2014.

As I suspected - utter nonsense and a convenient red herring to distract from the plain fact that the favoured model for delivering housing in this country is broken. House builders are simply unable to deliver the type of housing the country needs in the right locations in sufficient quantities. Breaking this cycle of failure requires public intervention, especially in the market for land.

Duke FameSeptember 1st 2014.

Where people want to live and the size of property does not equate to people's ability to pay. Sometimes people need to either compromise our work harder to achieve their goals, you can't blame builders for building what people can afford.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2014.

Reminds me of a woman I met at a 'Future of Transport' event. She lived in the sticks in Cheshire and not near the M56 nor the M6 and the drive to work was long and inconvenient and believed another mortorway was the answer. She wanted the nice house in Cheshire but still have the great job in Manchester. I suggested she consider a move closer to a train station or motorway access, or even look for a job nearer to home. She wasn't happy with my suggestions and when I said it's a lifestyle choice she was offended.

Obollox The GaulSeptember 1st 2014.

Duke, can you repost that so it makes sense grammatically? Then we can decipher whether what you're trying to say makes sense logically. Ta.

Duke FameSeptember 1st 2014.

I'll try again OBOLLOX THE GAUL Anon & Gimboid suggested that the market was "unable to deliver the type of housing the country needs" or provide "residences created would be desirable, that they would be in places that people want to live, and they would be sold at a level that people can afford them." That is all very well but not everyone can afford to live in the residence they desire at which point people need to either compromise or work harder to achieve their goals. Presently, builders will build property that can either be easily sol d or easily let in the market - that suggests they are producing residences that make the compromise between desirability and affordability. I'm sure most in the UK would quite like a Sandbanks residence with a flat in Kensington, however, these places cost a lot of money and RIGHTLY fall in the hands of the very talented / very hard working. It's quite possible for old offices to be converted into flats, at a cheap price and provide adequate accommodation.

14 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 1st 2014.

All those words and still not making any sense. Housing in the UK is one of the few markets that is almost entirely unresponsive to demand. Industry output remains unresponsive and stuck at a consistently low level. Even where land is plentiful, availability of mortgage finance is good and there is massive latent demand for quality housing close to large jobs markets like the city centre, the industry is still unable or unwilling to meet that demand. Something has gone very badly awry. This is market failure on a grand scale driven by the way in which private housing is delivered in the UK and almost nothing to do with a bit of office space that may or may not be leased by a local authority.

Duke FameSeptember 2nd 2014.

The problem with the housing market is that it's inflated by the benefits system.

Obollox The GaulSeptember 2nd 2014.

I thought the problem was that councils won't release their supposed thousands of unoccupied buildings? Make your mind up. Or just stop clutching at straws.

Duke FameSeptember 2nd 2014.

Anon was referring to market failure, the problem there is not market failure, simply interference with the market. Indeed, the city council sitting on empty buildings adds to the impression that that market is failing. As solution to the perceived shortage is to simply allow empty buildings to be put to use as housing.

Obollox The GaulSeptember 2nd 2014.

I'll put aside my impulse to think you're just talking uninformed tripe, and ask if you can actually explain how it is that the benefits system inflates the housing market? And how the market would change if the benefits system was taken out of the equation? Ideally with some kind of proof.

AnonymousSeptember 2nd 2014.

I am still waiting for my link to the article about office space! And now confusing the office market (which is functioning properly) with the housing market. Literally making things up.

AnonymousSeptember 2nd 2014.

I think the Duke has had one too many whiskeys.

Duke FameSeptember 3rd 2014.

OBOLLOX THE GAUL It's quite alright, I will do the same. The benefits system inflates the housing market in a very simple way. By paying for housing, the benefits system pumps money into the demand side of the market, hence the demand curve shifts putting the cost of housing up. If the benefits system was taken out of the equation, the demand curve would shift down making housing more affordable for all? Some kind of proof? Well I believe there have been a lot in London whining that they can't afford to live in posh houses because the govt will not supplement their lifestyle choices.

AnonymousSeptember 3rd 2014.

Digging yourself deeper Duke... Housing benefit is a contribution towards rent not for a mortgage. Exactly what leads you to believe that it, in of itself, increases demand for housing?

Duke FameSeptember 3rd 2014.

They are inextricably linked Anon, the purchase property of property will be based on the NPV of potential incomes in perpetuity. If the govt are going to guarantee inflated rental incomes, property prices will rise accordingly. Surely you understand this?

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2014.

But in a functioning market, supply would respond accordingly. Oh...

Duke FameSeptember 4th 2014.

It has done and the unintended consequence is that we have inflated property / accommodation prices

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2014.

Are you sure about that? or making things up again?

Duke FameSeptember 4th 2014.

There is no 'again' about it, it's completely logical that the if the local authority are subsidising a market, that market will be distorted. Surely you understand that

Duke FameSeptember 3rd 2014.

ANONYMOUS I can waste public money by getting a FOI but I'm not going to (they should charge for FOIs). It was in a Sunday some 3-4 years ago, more than likely the Times as I tend to take the Times or Telegraph. The point is clear, office space can be made to be residential. The govt has actively encouraged local councils to transfer use from commercial to residential for that reason. The office market is not functioning as well as you like if the council is sitting on property and inflating the price.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 3rd 2014.

Oh dear... I think we're done here Duke.

JoanSeptember 4th 2014.

Duke: your market analysis above is incomplete because it ignores the quantity traded. Your free market solution [with the demand curve in its original position, unaffected by housing benefit] ignores the fact that the lower quantity traded means people are homeless or in totally inadequate homes. The market for housing isn't the same as the market for eyeliner, hence the need to intervene when it fails. Admittedly housing benefit has contributed to higher rental values, but it has also allowed many people on basic incomes to avoid squalor or homelessness.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 4th 2014.

There is a position where the market will not supply and to do away with HB altogether will lead to a homelessness / spare capacity issue. In a true market, the supplier will adapt to supply smaller / lower quality accommodation to meet demand. This will also act as an incentive to work harder

JoanSeptember 5th 2014.

That didn't work in the past. When left to the 'free market' housing included slums, evictions, and Rachmanism. HB alone isn't a perfect solution, but some intervention in an economy like outs.

AnonymousSeptember 5th 2014.

Oh Lordy. If Manchester is yet again going to become a boom town I do hope we can learn from our history.

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