Greater Manchester’s ten Local Councils have published the new version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
This is the plan to build 180,000 new houses in Greater Manchester over the next 17 years.
In Bury, there are plans to build on four major ‘green belt’ sites. Three of these are for housing: at Walshaw, around Elton Reservoir and in Prestwich 1,550 houses to the north of Heaton Park near Simister and Bowlee. The fourth is a massive ’employment’ site, the ‘Northern Gateway’ on green belt land stretching from Whitefield to Middleton north of the M62. You can read the proposals in detail here.
Our view is that GMSF is simply the wrong plan. It builds on our precious green belt land. 9% of Bury’s green belt will be lost forever (across Greater Manchester only 3.25% is lost). It risks being out of date before it starts using housing need growth projections that date to before Brexit, and before Covid.
We DO need more homes in the borough, particularly more affordable homes, but these should be built on brownfield land and through regenerating our town centres, but not at the expense of losing our precious green spaces.
Covid-19 has shown us that we need our open spaces more than ever.
We don’t think it is right that Greater Manchester councils are proposing to consult with the public in the middle of a pandemic – over Christmas…. At a time when people are rightly focussed on Covid-19 and its massive impact on our lives, it is a disgrace to even call this a consultation.
All ten councils in Greater Manchester must approve the plan. Bury Council gets its vote on 25 November 2020. Please tell us what you think about the proposals and what points we should be saying at this important meeting.