Today Greater Manchester’s Labour leaders are publishing the revised proposals for the ‘Greater Manchester Spatial Framework’ to provide 201,000 new homes in Greater Manchester over the next 20 years.
Councillor Tim Pickstone, Bury’s Liberal Democrat Group Leader said:
For Bury this plan is a disgrace. While other boroughs like Bolton have maintained all future housing growth in the town centre, Bury Council seems determined to bulldoze over whole swathes of countryside.
Across Greater Manchester only 4.1% of green belt land is lost, in Bury it is a shocking 12% and in Prestwich and Whitefield it is more like 40% lost. Village communities like Simister and Bowlee will be changed for ever, as will areas near Elton reservoir and Walshaw, with a ridiculous and unnecessary level of housebuilding in the green belt.
Nobody explains how an extra 9,500 houses worth of people will somehow fit on the Metrolink or down the A56. There are vague plans for a new motorway junction at Birch services, even through everyone knows that area of motorway is already full to capacity.
We do need new houses, almost certainly not 201,000, but we do need more houses that people can afford. But we also need countryside.
Bury Council’s Labour leadership has failed to listen to its own residents and gone back on the Mayor’s pledge for no net loss of green belt.