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Press release: Once the Green Belt has gone, it’s gone forever

Press release: Once the Green Belt has gone, it’s gone forever

CPRE’s response to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

 The Campaign to Protect Rural England is strongly urging that the Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework needs significant changes. CPRE believes that in its current form, it risks promoting short term unsustainable development growth and it will imperil Greater Manchester Combined Authority GMCA’s own stated aims and objectives for sustainable development.

CPRE wants to see the much needed development built in sustainable locations, with adequate supporting infrastructure to make places better in the future. It argues that greenfields should not be needlessly sacrificed due to their immense benefits, not least to health and well-being.

Key countryside planning issues addressed by CPRE are:

  1. Too many jobs are being proposed, based on untenable high economic growth assumptions e.g. industrial and warehousing floorspace is forecast to grow at 40%, which fails to observe downward trends, and technological advances.
  2. An independent expert demographer found flaws in the housing calculations, leading to at least 30,000 more houses being planned than are necessary. The Housing Target should be 197,885 homes (9,894 per annum).
  3. A downward adjustment of the housing target to take account of restricted land is absent. Restricted land includes, Green Belt.
  4. The source of all the new people to fill the 200,000 new jobs and 227,200 homes (11,360 per annum) being planned has not been adequately evidenced.
  5. The GMSF fails to adequately show that the ‘duty to co-operate’ with neighbour authorities, causing excessive loss of Green Belt, e.g. with Cheshire East.
  6. Too little quantity of development is focused on brownfield land at only 70% whereas previously 80-90% brownfield targets were successfully achieved.
  7. In combination the above points to evidence that there are not exceptional circumstances for releasing 4,900 hectares of Green Belt land. If a realistic development quantum is being planned, appropriate densities are applied, and all brownfield land sources are exhausted, this would remove the need to build on Green Belt.
  8. Any Green Belt release should be via a full Green Belt review with public consultation (in advance of GMSF being progressed). Released land must be subject to master-planning.
  9. Analysis of whether an absolute reduction in carbon emissions is possible is needed. 

Nick Thompson, Chair of CPRE Lancashire said,
“CPRE wants a reality check on the Accelerated Growth Scenario figures and a much more balanced approach. This will ensure that needed development can take place but crucially this first must be on Greater Manchester’s abundant brownfield land. The public is rightly concerned at the loss of so much Green Belt land and CPRE wants politicians to take notice.”

CPRE included written objections to the following 19 proposed greenfield sites, some in protected Green Belt, based on the assessment that the proposals would cause more harm than benefit:

  • Airport City South (Manchester)
  • Timperley Wedge, Davenport Green (Trafford)
  • Western Cadishead and Irlam (Salford)
  • Junction 21 of M62 (Oldham and Rochdale)
  • Bredbury Park Extension (Stockport)
  • Pocket Nook, Lowton (Wigan)
  • South Pennington (Wigan)
  • Hulton Park and Chequerbent (Bolton)
  • Junction 25 (Wigan)
  • North Bolton Strategic Opportunity Area (Bolton)
  • OA8 Broadbent Moss (Oldham)
  • Robert Fletchers (Oldham)
  • Bamford/Norden (Rochdale)
  • Elton Reservoir Area (Bury)
  • Woodford (Stockport)
  • High Lane (Stockport)
  • Land off A34 (Stockport)
  • South Tameside (Tameside)
  • Mottram M67 North and South (Tameside)

Further details and site images can be found in the full response, with demographic appraisal appended, is available on CPRE Lancashire’s website.

For further details please contact Jackie Copley, Planning Manager on 07718070750, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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