GMSF: Its Andy Burnham v Local Councils

For anyone who thought that the threat to Greenbelt locally and across GM had gone away, here’s proof that local Councils continue to want to use more of it.

This article    
Manchester Evening
published 19 September 2018 may come as a surprise to many.

Following delays in publishing this draft of the GMSF, residents across GM were expecting to see it by November this year.

Does the apparent disagreements between Mayor Andy Burnham and the ten local Councils cast doubt on this date?

Following Andy Burnham’s appointment as GM Mayor, he told local councils to go back to the drawing board as he wanted to see a major rewrite of the GMSF. Many believe this was mainly because he recognised that opposition to it by GM residents was substantial and couldn’t be ignored.

Along side this, Rochdale Council have just published their Draft Site Allocations Plan (September 2018). This shows were they want local developments to be placed in the Borough with the vast majority being on brownfield sites and Town centres.

The MEN article specifically mentions Bury, Rochdale & Oldham as wanting to see a re-balancing of investment & development in GM towards these areas.

Whilst we cannot deny that homes & employment opportunities are needed, we strongly believe that building on Greenbelt is wholly wrong as it aims:

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

The stated opportunities and benefits of Greenbelt include:

  • Providing opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban population
  • Providing opportunities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation near urban areas
  • The retention of attractive landscapes and the enhancement of landscapes, near to where people live
  • Improvement of damaged and derelict land around towns
  • The securing of nature conservation interests
  • The retention of land in agricultural, forestry and related uses.

From small beginnings

27,000 people commented on the first draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework [GMSF].

Following this the local community came together to form SOS-Save Our Slattocks and joined other local residents from across Greater Manchester to rally at Manchester Town Hall.

 Since then we’ve looked at how best we can influence local planning and consequently formed the Thornham St John’s Neighbourhood Forum

Here’s a video reminder of our ‘roots’