GMSF – Wrong Plan, Wrong Time

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 It risks being out of date before it starts using housing need growth projections that date to before Brexit, and before Covid.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.

Tell us what you think about the GMSF proposals.

9 thoughts on “GMSF – Wrong Plan, Wrong Time

  1. Claire kenny says:

    I oppose this full stop. How are we ever going to tackle the climate emergency when proposals like this are being put forward?

  2. Stuart Wood says:

    GMSF ‘plan’ is bonkers – bit like the S56 cycle lane. There should be NO building on any greenbelt land until every scrap of brownfield has been used. This is an ideal opportunity to redevelop town centres and use up what is currently ‘waste’ land. In these days of environmental diversity decline removing greenbelt is criminal negligence.

  3. Gary George says:

    I cannot believe they are still going forward with these plans, ridiculous when there is brown land and unused city sites.
    I begin to wonder if there are personal reasons for plowing ahead, perhaps a closer scrutiny into the finances and background interests of the people pushing is needed?

  4. David Brown says:

    Michael, agree completely with your argument against the plan.
    There must be ample brownfield sites in our area rather than use greenfield.
    Definitely feel the timing of the “consultation ” is suspect.
    On another subject, when did the consultation on the pop up crossing at St Mary’s take place and when were the results published?

  5. Lynn Heeley says:

    I feel that there are sufficient brown sites and small parcels of land to adequately provide sufficient housing without needing to use greenbelt. I also think the massive industrial estate is totally unnecessary. There are many half used and completely abandoned industrial units across the region to bear this out. Moreover the proposed sites do not have adequate road networks to cope with current traffic let alone the inevitable increase. In addition because of covid and the loss of jobs fewer people will be in the market for a new house and with the massive debt the government have amassed now is not the time to spend on unnecessary and unpopular projects. This plan is not being led by necessity or fir the good of the people but by business and the egotism of Andy Burnham. Definitely wrong plan wrong time.

  6. Martyn Jones says:

    GMSF is a backwards plan created by short sighted greedy people

  7. Joan Evans says:

    This is disguisting that the council are doing all this at a time of great upheaval. We can have no public meetings and the strengh of feeling around this area is that we do not need large scale development around Simister Village. The clue is in the name VILLAGE. Their proposals just swamp the area.We are constantly being told of the poor air quality around Simister island at junction 18 but they still want to add to this. They offer no proper infrastructure to be added as the proposals they offered last year would just add to the congestion on Middleton Road. Madness in the making.

  8. S Charlesworth says:

    Please please do all you can to stop green belt being lost forever…people will only realise how important it is when it’s gone especially the areas around Simister.

  9. robert pearson says:

    Agree completely. The traffic on Heywood Old road would be horrendous. It is difficult in NORMAL times, what it would be like with another road joining it just before it joins Middleton Road. It is no wonder that there are regular houses for sale on the road. It is stupid as we are seeing now, to reduce the Green Belt. We get a lot of pleasure from being able to go for a walk, as many others do.

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