The government's rather confused housing policy has been further muddied by the announcement that, under a new pilot scheme, 'permission in principle' will be granted for new homes on brownfield sites. The aim is, of course, to ease the housing crisis by making the developers’ lives a little easier.

Manchester was automatically chosen because of its large swathes of brownfield land. Awkwardly, the pilot’s announcement comes in the same month that Castlefield looks set to have a Neighbourhood Plan put in place, to protect its current inhabitants from residential over-development.

The government needs to make up its mind: either blast the obstacles out of the way of the developers; or give greater rights to the public to have a say in how their area should be managed. They cannot do both.