Greater Manchester masterplan wins approval from all regional leaders

A long-awaited master plan for boosting jobs and house building has won the support of regional leaders, the Manchester Evening News reported.

It comes after latest version of the Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework’s was published last week.

It outlines what land in the city-region can be used for housing, industrial and employment uses in the years until 2037.

Land for up to 180,000 new homes would be freed up across Greater Manchester, of which 50,000 would be affordable.

This is lower than the 227,000 proposed in the original document published in 2016.

Green belt development, by far the most controversial aspect of the GMSF, has been reduced by 60pc. This means the size of the green belt will drop from 46.7pc to 45.1pc.

The amount of employment land has also shrunk by half from the level proposed in the original masterplan.

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A greater emphasis will be placed on breathing new life into brownfield sites, with the combined authority planning to use £80m of government funding to fulfil their ambitions.

Council leaders expressed their approval of the latest iteration of the GMSF at an executive meeting on Friday.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, admitted that the framework had been as hotly debated in recent years as the Brexit referendum.

“I hope everybody in the city-region would be able to agree that [the GMSF] is substantially different from the plan in 2016 which had a very different approach,” he said.

“Over those intervening years we have been listening very closely to what communities have said, and I hope people see that consultation is real.

“But we do now want to bring this matter to a conclusion and agree the GMSF.”

By throwing their support behind the GMSF, council leaders have agreed to table the masterplan at town hall debates in November.

If the GMSF manages to gain the consent of all councils it will then go out for a public consultation in December, though further opposition is expected from councillors and green belt campaigners.

But Mr Burnham said: “We are at a point now where we have to move forward, and there also comes a point where you have to say now that the green belt is better protected by proceeding, rather than continuing to debate these issues.

“I hope today that we can turn some of the negative debate about the GMSF into a much more positive and confident plan for the future of Greater Manchester.”

Business Live – North West