Sadly, Bury’s Councillors agreed by a narrow margin to proceed with the ‘Places for Everywhere’ planning proposals. Liberal Democrat councillors voted against the proposals, but 26 Labour councillors voted in favour which was enough to win this time.
Places for Everyone is very similar to the GMSF (Greater Manchester Spatial Framework) that received a huge number of objections over recent years. Now Stockport is not part of the plan, it has the new name of Places for Everyone.
The plan proposes land for 165,000 more houses across Greater Manchester in the next 15 years. (To put that in context the whole of Bury added together currently has 77,000 houses.)
In Bury the plan would mean the loss of 1,700 hectares of precious green belt land (countryside).
The four big ‘sites’ for Bury are:
– Prestwich/Simister/Bowlee – space for 1,550 new houses on what is now ‘green belt’ (it is farmland) to the north of Heaton Park (between Simister and Middleton). Plans include a new primary school. It is important to note that these proposals are slightly away from the existing Simister village (a small improvement on previous plans), but right up to existing homes on the Bowlee and Rhodes side.
– a major area of employment/industrial development to the north of the M62 between Prestwich/Whitefield and Middleton/Heywood. Essentially this is a large area on the north side of the M62 from Simister island to the Heywood/Middleton junction on the M62. Half is in Bury, half in Rochdale. This will provide space for 1.2million square metres of industrial and warehousing build, and 1,000 houses on the Rochdale side.
– 3,500 new houses near Radcliffe on existing green belt land (large area of countryside around around Elton Reservoir)
– 1,400 new houses near Walshaw on existing green belt land.
(The plan as it affects the Prestwich area – part of the massive employment/industrial area to the north of the M62, and 1550 homes to the north of Heaton Park. All of this is currently Green Belt land (countryside).
Liberal Democrat Councillors voted AGAINST the plan
We DO want more homes and more jobs, but NOT at the expense of destroying our countryside.
New building should be on existing brownfield sites and in town centres only.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Michael Powell said:
“Places for Everyone is simply the wrong plan. The proposals will see 1,700 hectares of Bury’s precious green belt taken away and built on. Our green spaces are vitally important in so many ways, as we have particularly seen recently during the lockdown periods. We still don’t need to do this. There is enough brownfield land, or sites that can be developed by bringing life back into our town centres to provide for housing need. We do need more homes – especially the affordable homes that people need. We do need more jobs – but we need these to be the high quality jobs that people deserve. We also need our countryside, and the good health and life the this provides”.
You can watch Michael’s speech opposing the plans here:
What happens now
Although this vote was very disappointing, the fight to save our green belt can still go on.
A further consultation on these final plans will commence across Greater Manchester (minus Stockport), apparently from early August. We will give you more information on how you can have your say as soon as we have the details.