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  • Writer's pictureNoel

GMCA receives 25,000 responses to Spatial Framework draft

Council leaders said they will “consider every submission to the consultation on Greater Manchester’s plan for homes and jobs” after the draft plan triggered a huge volume of submissions from residents, developers and others.

The submissions range from residents’ groups who say there would be too much Green Belt land released and housebuilders arguing the case for increased levels of supply.

The draft was published in October and recommended 227,200 new homes be built in the next 20 years, 28% of the new units on Green Belt land, 12,000 acres of which would be removed from GM’s protected land, equivalent to 8% of Green Belt in the city region, or 3% of total area. After the release of Green Belt land there would still be 43% of GM in protected status.

All of the submissions will be uploaded and made public on GMCA’s consultation website. Seven agency staff have been hired to help process letters and emails.

The publication of the next draft and resumption of consultation has been put back from June or July to September.

At-a-glance response highlights:

  • 93% of comments relate to Green Belt allocations

  • Sites that received the most comments were

  • Land east and west of M627M, Oldham and Rochdale

  • Junction 21 of M62, Oldham and Rochdale

  • North Bolton Area of Search, Bolton

  • Walshaw, Bury

  • Sidebottom Fold, Tameside

  • Land at Flixton Station, Trafford

  • Elton Reservoir Area, Bury

  • Junction 25, Wigan

  • Hanging Chadder, Oldham

More than a dozen petitions were submitted

More than a dozen petitions were submitted

Cllr Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale and GMCA lead for planning and housing, said: “I want to thank each and every person who has responded to our consultation. There is strong support for a Greater Manchester plan for jobs and homes and the level of response has shown that people in every borough are willing to engage with and shape our plan for homes and jobs. This is a real conversation about the future of Greater Manchester – and we are listening.

“It’s clear that many people across Greater Manchester have strong feelings about this plan. That’s something we recognise and will respond to. We will not ignore what you are telling us – and we will consider every single submission and look at where changes can and should be made.

“While the vast majority of the plan proposes building within the urban area, including on brownfield sites, I know there are concerns around potential development on specific sites designated as Green Belt. I also understand that people want to see more detail on our plans for brownfield regeneration, infrastructure and transport to support this plan.

“There are a range of opinions on the draft plan, with some groups asking for development to be scaled back, and others campaigning for more development in Greater Manchester. That spectrum means we will not be able to address every concern. But I’m confident that by working together with local people we can create a plan that ensures future generations can find a decent home, with great transport links, in a Greater Manchester which respects and nurtures its natural resources.”

Over 2,600 responses were submitted through Objective, the online consultation portal. In addition, approximately 16,500 letters and 8,000 email representations were received. The draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework document was accessed over 50,000 times from the GMCA website and a similar number accessed the information documents available on the consultation portal.

Eighty public events were held across Greater Manchester where residents and others could find out more about the draft Spatial Framework. The events were well attended with many recording hundreds of attendees, GMCA reported. The consultation period was extended from 23 December – not popular in the Christmas run-in for planning advisors – to 16 January.

In addition to Greater Manchester residents and landowners, a number of national and regional interest groups and bodies responded to the consultation. Three of these submissions are highlighted in the report to go before Greater Manchester Leaders;

The GMSF: Greater Manchester’s Plan for Homes and Jobs. Update on Consultation report is due to be considered by leaders on Friday 31 March.

It will be proposed that all future consultations on the plan for homes and jobs will be for double that period, 12 weeks.


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