The spatial framework to build 201,000 homes in Greater Manchester has been beset by another delay.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has been preparing the plan to build homes and create jobs in and around the city for several years and published the second draft in January. The GMSF will influence any development across the 10 districts up until 2037. The new draft decreased the amount of Green Belt land for development and reduced the number of houses by 26,000, after criticism of the initial plan. See our previous blog on the publication of this second draft for further details. [ ]

However, the fact that any Green Belt land at all has been assigned for development is one of the major causes of the delay. The GMCA have utilised a ‘spatial development strategy’ as the framework for the plan, but legislation at present does not permit Green Belt land to be released for a strategy of this type.

Questions have been raised about why the GMCA decided to use the framework when they must have been aware that they would encounter this problem. Seemingly the GMCA has been trying to persuade the Government to alter the legislation preventing Green Belt land release, however, the Government has been unwilling to change the position so far.

It is very unlikely that the GMSF will stick to the present timetable, as the 10 boroughs were meant to have signed off on the plan by October. It is not known how the GMCA plan to proceed or how much more time this delay will take to resolve. An update form the GMCA is eagerly awaited.