Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Phase 2 DELAYED

GMCA have agreed to delay the Phase 2 consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework until September. The full report considered by the GMCA is here (it’s not very detailed). (Page 25)

Highlights are:

The report considered by Council officers says:
“The current published timetable provides for consultation on the Publication Plan in June/July. In the light of the consultation responses received and the further work needed it is recommended that consultation on the next stage of the plan should be moved to September. The regulations require a formal consultation of at least 6 weeks. It is proposed that all future consultations will be for 12 weeks.”

The issues highlighted by the public consultation:
“Detailed analysis of the representations is still underway. The following issues are emerging from the early analysis although this is clearly a partial list and will be added to once all of the responses have been analysed.
• Strong overall support that a plan is needed and for the vision
• General support for the thematic policies but concern that the allocations are inconsistent with these
• Lack of balance between weight given to jobs and homes and the natural environment
• Concern over the robustness of the economic and demographic forecasts – particularly in terms of the impact of Brexit
• Economic forecasts are not ambitious enough
• Alternatively the housing figures are too high (CPRE 9,894 dwellings per annum, 197,885 over 20 years) or too low (HBF in excess of 14,622 pa, 292,440 over 20 years, or the Housing the Powerhouse ‘policy on’ figure of 16,643 pa 332,860 over 20 years)
• Current land supply is constraining growth. There is too much focus on apartments in the urban core and there is a need for more family
housing.
• Brownfield land/empty homes and shops have been ignored and should be developed first.
• Existing land supply has been taken at face value and viability of bringing it forward has not been established.
• ‘Exceptional circumstances’ for release of Green Belt has not been demonstrated.
• The site selection process needs to be transparent – it’s unclear why some sites have been discounted and others chosen.
• Concern that this is the first that residents have heard about the plan and the title “spatial framework” is confusing to most people.
• Concern over the environmental impact of Green Belt release.
• Concern over impact of further development on infrastructure (in particular transport and social) perceived to be at or near capacity.
• Mix and type of housing – needs a range of affordable housing.
• Support for the intention to fulfil the city region’s full economic potential but this must be within environmental limits.
• Given Brexit, the spatial framework should have strong environmental protections in place that can stand alone – on issues from air quality to water and wildlife protection.
• Important to ensure that development associated with the GMSF does not increase risk such as flooding.
• Concern from utility providers regarding large sites which are in multiple ownerships. Experience is that sites in multiple ownerships can be
compromised by developers working independently.