IN an effort to avoid further delays to a Greater Manchester housing strategy leaders have called on the government to provide clarity on housing figures.

This week it was revealed the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) could be delayed for a fourth time because of lower than expected population figures and the government reassessing its housing need formula.

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and the leaders of the combine authority, said: "Right now the government is moving the goalposts and making this process more difficult. We have made real progress towards agreeing a rewritten GMSF, but this uncertainty around the housing figures is delaying our final decisions and compromising our ability to get on with strategic planning in Greater Manchester.

“The Government methodology that could give us the clarity we need is due to be published after the Conservative Party Conference – but even then, the revised methodology will only be a consultation rather than the finalised formula for assessing local housing need.

“We are clear that the Government must not fiddle the methodology to inflate the housing numbers just to meet its own artificial target.

“We also note that this revised methodology is set to come forward just months after the Government’s last consultation to assess local housing need. This is a far cry from the honest, open, consistent approach that we were promised.

“Greater Manchester needs to know that the Spatial Framework is a plan fit for the future and this can only be the case if we get the clarity we need before the plan is finalised. That is why we have all agreed that we will wait, yet again, for the Government methodology, then move quickly to revise and agree our plan, before taking it out to public consultation."