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‘Radical rewrite’ of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework eagerly anticipated by CPRE

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 11:32

CPRE Lancashire is looking forward to seeing the ‘radical rewrite’ of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework if approved at the Combined Authority meeting on Friday 11th January 2019, based on the announcement by Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor.

At the launch of the GMSF held at Portland Street Manchester the Mayor said in his speech:
“We listened, reflected and today present a radical re-write as promised. The new GMSF is driven by a different, more interventionist approach: not developer-led but place-led.  A radical re-write which doesn’t just protect more green space but supports radical new housing, industry, transport and environmental policies for Greater Manchester. It starts from the right place – a clearly-stated ‘brownfield-preference’ approach, directing development in the first instance to our urban sites with greater proximity to public transport.  As a result of this, I can today confirm a major cut in the proposed use of greenbelt land from the original GMSF of over 50%.”
In January 2017 CPRE Lancashire, Cheshire and Friends of the Peak District in a joint response to the draft GMSF said the plans were too developer-led leading to a greenfield focus.   We made a very strong case that it wasn’t necessary to release 4,900 hectares of Green Belt land.  We cast doubt on the very high growth assumed, and an independent expert found the housing figures to be some 30,000 too high. We recommended a reduction to circa. 200,000 homes in total, equating to less than 10,000 houses per annum. We also found the focus on brownfield was too low based on the sub-region’s historical success and called for more ambition for urban regeneration, and we showed the carbon emissions implied needed further reduction.
Jackie Copley, Planning Manager said “Clearly if, more than half of land in Green Belt proposed for development has now been saved from development, we will feel that the opinion of local people, indeed our own, was heard.  We will look at the Green Belt sites retained and question whether they are really necessary for development.  Furthermore, we will work with local communities to consider whether suitable brownfield sites are adequately recorded on the Brownfield Registers of the ten constituent authorities that form the evidence base utilising our Brownfield Register Toolkit.”

CPRE Lancashire developed a Brownfield Toolkit last year to support communities in highlighting brownfield sites in their local area, both to reduce development pressure on the countryside and to encourage the regeneration of unsightly or derelict sites.  We want to support under-resourced local planners to steer development that really is sustainable and to counter the housing lobby that greenfield is the only answer, as it is not.
We think the vision for Greater Manchester needs a balanced framework to achieve economic, social and environmental prosperity for all in the future.  We encourage local people to engage positively with the Combined Authority and Local Planning Authority planners to achieve this shared ambition.  

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