Establish a GM Land Commission – Open Letter to Andy Burnham

61 organisations, including housing and climate groups, trade unions and charities, have signed an open letter to Andy Burnham calling for a democratic approach to managing public land in Greater Manchester. We publish the letter in full below.

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To Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester,


A new report by researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield reveals that Manchester City Council is leasing large amounts of public land to developers in order to enable the construction of unaffordable luxury apartments in the city centre.


Greater Manchester is facing a housing crisis: there were 98,898 households on the housing waiting list in 2019, an increase of 98% since 1997. Manchester City Council’s own policy states that all new developments should contain 20% affordable units. However, the report reveals that public land in Manchester city centre is being used for private developments that contain no affordable or social housing. 


In light of the pandemic, and with the ever-growing threat of climate change, the need for public green space has acquired a new urgency. Central Manchester in particular has a notable shortage of green spaces, with recent disputes over New Islington Green and the former Central Ancoats Retail Park sitting high in the headlines over the last year. But this issue isn’t limited to the city centre — across the region communities have been contesting plans to build on green space.


The report calls for greater transparency and accountability over public land ownership and use. It recommends the establishment of a participatory Land Commission to oversee public land use, along the lines of that set out by Liverpool City Region in 2020. This recommendation was also made by the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission. 


We the undersigned welcome the inclusion of a Greater Manchester Land Commission as a policy pledge in your manifesto for this year’s mayoral election. We believe your victory gives you a clear mandate to take this work forward, and we call on you to establish a Land Commission with participation from local housing campaigners and organisations committed to climate justice by the end of December 2021. 




Greater Manchester Housing Action


ACORN Manchester

All Black Lives

Aytoun Barks Back

Block the Block

Bolton Against Covid Evictions

Britannia Basin Community Forum

Bury People's Assembly

CORE Independents

Climate Emergency Manchester

Extinction Rebellion Trafford

Friends of Angel Meadow

Friends of Carrington Moss

Friends of Longford Park

Friends of Ryebank Fields

Friends of Tangshutt

Friends of Turn Moss

Greater Manchester Labour for a Green New Deal

Greater Manchester Law Centre

Greater Manchester Socialist Education Association

Greater Manchester Tenants Union

Greater Manchester Unite the Union Community Branch

Hamerton Action Group

Hulme Community Forum

Love Old Trafford Society

Macintosh Village Management Limited

Manchester District National Education Union (NEU)

Manchester Friends of the Earth

Manchester Green Party

Manchester Liberal Democrats

Manchester Momentum

Manchester People’s Assembly

Manchester Trades Union Council

MCFC Fans Foodbank Support

Middleton Cooperating

Moss Side Tenants Union

Myco: Manchester Mushroom Cooperative

NEU Co-op Academy Manchester

Northern Quarter Forum

Partisan Collective

PCS Associate and Retired Members Greater Manchester

Positive Money

Queers Support the Migrants North

Salford Trades Union Council

Save Apethorn & Bowlacre Greenbelt

Save Greater Manchester Greenbelt

Save Manchester’s Greenbelt

Save Our Greenspace

Seymour Grove Allotments, Old Trafford

Shelter Greater Manchester

Sisters Uncut Manchester

SOS - Save Our Slattocks

Steady State Manchester

Stockport and District Momentum

Stockport Tenants Union

Stockport Trades Union Council

The Kindling Trust

Thornham St John Neighbourhood Forum

Trafford Ryebank Residents Association

Trees Not Cars Manchester

Walk Ride Greater Manchester


13 May 2021