REGIONAL PLANNING BLUEPRINT DELAYED
THE latest version of Greater Manchester’s contentious spatial framework won’t be unveiled until July, it has been confirmed, pushing back its timetable by a month.
It is understood the delay is in large part due to the recent change of leadership in Trafford, where the new Labour minority administration had promised to scrap a chunk of the borough’s original plan.
In the local elections, Labour had promised to withdraw proposals for more than 300 homes on green belt in Flixton - a move it has now confirmed with the mayor.
As a result the authority may need to find more space in order to hit its housing need, an exercise its new leader Andrew Western has now tasked chief executive Theresa Grant with carrying out.
Elsewhere in the conurbation there are other areas yet to finalise their plans, including Oldham, where new leader Sean Fielding is hoping to get more housing into major regeneration schemes in Oldham town centre. Council bosses have been trying to draw up a longterm blueprint for housing and new businesses for two years, but have been hit by political disagreements and a backlash from residents about plans to develop on green belt.
After mayor Andy Burnham took up post last May, he promised to ‘radically’ revise the original plan and after some internal discussion it was agreed that a new draft would be completed by June of this year.
However, the changes at the top of Trafford and Oldham - along with difficulties in finding enough housing space in Stockport without substantially building on green belt - means the rewritten version will now be delayed by a month.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, said: “The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is vital for the success of our city region and represents our best chance to solve the hous- ing crisis. It will be a bold, ambitious plan to ensure that we have the right homes and jobs in the right places, and the transport connections and infrastructure to support developments.
“So we need to make sure that this plan is as good as it can be before we ask Greater Manchester people what they think of it.
“Therefore we’ve revised the timetable for publication to do the additional work necessary to set out a clear vision for the future. This also dem- onstrates to the public that we are taking account of the issues raised during the recent local elections.”
The plan’s publication will be followed by a 12-week consultation - the second such consultation to be held on the framework - before the results are analysed, amendments made and a final version published.
It is likely to need individual ratification by each Greater Manchester town hall, before being sent to the government for approval.
Land south of the existing Stakehill business park is part of the original Oldham plan and Andy Burnham, below, who has explained the need for the delay