• Emily Trowell

Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework could be ready for adoption in 2022

The latest draft of Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework (GMSF) was released to the public on the 5th October and met with opposition, as this draft is not very different from the previous proposal put forward in 2019 that saw 17,500 business respond with over 60,000 comments. 

When the first initial plan was released in 2016, it was met with public outcry and protests at the allocation of protected land sites to new homes and warehouses. The sites seemed to “have been included without any clear plan for transport links” to the areas and following the public hostility, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham apparently tore up the previous proposal and wrote a new version, released in early 2019. 


The latest version has omitted the four main “controversial green belt plans” from 2019 and also reduced its land allocations for new homes, reducing the woodhouse residential development from 260 homes to 30 homes and completely disregarding the 600 proposed homes for land on Thornham Old Road.


The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) website states that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is about “providing the right homes, in the right places, for people across our city region. It's about creating jobs and improving infrastructure to ensure the future prosperity of Greater Manchester”, however, the latest draft has since been delayed due to a disagreement between Tameside and Stockport councils, over a site designated for thousands of sqm of warehousing. 


The site, Bredbury Park Industrial Estate, sits on the border between Stockport and Tame Valley, and currently has planning applications pending from August 2019 that have “complicated the situation”. Explained in the latest draft of the GMSF, the current plan for Bredbury Park “reduces the amount of land intended for development” in order to protect more green land in the Tame Valley and reduce the impact on the North Western green belt. 


Following the release of the GMSF, Mayor Andy Burnham has warned those that oppose the latest plan to “think long and hard” about their decision, stating that if the plan isn’t approved this round, then the green belt with be “exposed to speculative development”. With Salford being named the Greenest Place to Live in the UK earlier this year, and Manchester’s ambition to become completely carbon neutral by 2038, further detrimental building on the green belt would not support this ideal. 


If all 10 councils of Greater Manchester were to vote in favour of the latest draft, there will be 8 weeks of public consultation beginning around November 2020. At the end of this period, the plan will then begin to be prepared for submission to the Government in 2021, and should it be approved by the Secretary of State, this plan could be ready for adoption as early as 2022. 


You can find more information about Greater Manchester’s Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment (GMSF) on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website.


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