Manchester

Spatial Framework: Housing plan undergoing 'radical rewrite'

Allocations and current green belt Image copyright GMSF
Image caption Building on some greenbelt land had been proposed in the plan

A plan earmarking sites for 225,000 new homes in Greater Manchester is set to be delayed amid a "radical rewrite" to help protect green belt land.

The next public consultation in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) scheme was due in September but may not be published until summer 2018.

Regional mayor Andy Burnham promised to revise the plans following protests from affected communities.

The revised plans will be announced "in due course", the mayor's office said.

The GMSF scheme identifies sites for housing developments that may be built over the next 20 years.

The area's combined authority, which brings together 10 councils, published a joint plan last October to allocate land for development.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Andy Burnham promised to revise the plans in his campaign to become regional mayor

Due to the scale of development required to meet expected population growth, it outlined plans to make swathes of protected greenbelt land available for new homes.

The authority received more than 25,000 responses to the consultation while community groups protested against the plans.

Mr Burnham, who was elected as metropolitan mayor in May, promised to "radically re-write" the plans, calling them "unfair and disproportionate".

The BBC understands council leaders are not expecting the next consultation to take place until next year due to the work involved.

Matthew Collinge from the Save our Slattocks group, which is opposed to homes being built on greenbelt land between Middleton and Royton, said the delay was "disappointing".

Image copyright Yvonne Collier
Image caption The plans have prompted several protests

He said: "It stretches out the fear of the unknown and us. It's very easy for people to lose interest and we've been working towards this September deadline.

"We now have to keep people aware of what's happening for longer and that makes it harder for a small community group like ours."

Matthew Good, a spokesman for the House Builder's Federation said: "It's important for everybody that we have some certainty on this.

"Councils need to invest in infrastructure. They need to know where those developments are going to happen.

"Without a plan it's going to be a lot more piecemeal because investors will have to take chances on where they can get development and the councils may not be in control of that."

A spokesman for Mr Burnham said the mayor had appointed Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett to lead a "radical" rewrite of the plans.

He added: "This re-write is currently underway and details on the next round of consultation will be announced in due course."

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