The leaders of Greater Manchester councils have issued a second draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework in an attempt to address the complaints made by many following the first draft issued in 2016. The Framework will have a significant impact on future development in the area over the next two decades and has been eagerly awaited by developers and the public alike.
The new framework has been produced by all ten councils working together and considers the public outcry over the amount of green belt land that the previous draft proposed to release for development, instead of trying to place more emphasis on developing brownfield sites. The total number of proposed houses has been reduced by 26,000 to a total of 201,000, with 50,000 to be allocated as affordable housing and 30,000 of those social housing, addressing another major previously-raised complaint. The city has also made it clear that it opposes fracking.
Although the new plan does reduce the green belt land being released by over half, over 65 development projects have been proposed and inevitably some high profile greenbelt sites remain. In Trafford, the so-called “Timperley Wedge” on the outskirts of Altrincham, was one of the more controversial sites and still features with an offering of 2,400 new homes, but the proposals for sites at Flixton Station and on the western edge of Sale have been scrapped. Carrington Road is still earmarked to provide just over 6,000 homes but this too has been reduced. Similarly, in Stockport, the Former Offerton High School, Heald Green, High Lane and Griffin Park sites all remain, but have all been scaled back.
An eight-week public consultation on the proposals is now running until 18 March. The final version of the framework will then be published for comment in the summer with the public examination in the first half of 2020.
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