Draft GM plan to be debated

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Council leaders are to decide whether to approve the draft of the county’s next 20-year planning blueprint next week.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is the joint authorities’ plan for land allocation across the area, including Wigan borough, to provide housing and investment opportunities for sustainable growth.

Over the next two decades there is a need to deliver continued sustainable economic growth, creating more jobs and new homes in the right places with the transport infrastructure (roads, rail, Metrolink) to support communities and manage growth sustainably.

By having a plan, greater control over land allocation will ensure development of new homes comes with investment in roads, school places, green spaces and public transport. Without a plan, development would happen in any case, without capturing benefits for local communities. In other words, a place with a plan is a place with a future.

If approved, the draft framework will be published and the views of Greater Manchester residents will be sought during an eight-week consultation. Views submitted will be considered and a final draft will be published in 2017 when another period of consultation will be held.

A growth option for Greater Manchester was agreed at the August 2016 meeting of the joint GMCA board.

This has now been developed into a draft plan, which identifies the need for an additional 227,200 new homes across Greater Manchester by 2035, with Wigan earmarked to take a 10 per cent share.

A key consideration of the development of the framework has been to adopt a brownfield first approach to land allocation.

A new greenbelt boundary for Greater Manchester, supporters say, will offer greater protection to prevent development in the newly designated greenbelt whilst also meeting our housing and employment needs over the next 20 years.

The council leaders meet on Friday.