Residents share dismay and fury over revised spatial framework

A protest against green belt building in Mosley Common
A protest against green belt building in Mosley Common

Residents have hit out angrily after a revised regional masterplan said around 1,200 houses should be built in their area.

Campaigners in Mosley Common launched a furious response after their long battles to protect local green belt land and open spaces suffered a major setback.

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The second draft actually features more house building in the area than the 2016 plan, with up to 1,200 new homes now proposed.

Planners want to maximise the number of dwellings close to the Leigh Guided Busway, with an extra stop on the flagship public transport project in the draft as well.

A number of residents' groups on Facebook came together to oppose the spatial framework and there are many questions about the infrastructure coping with development, traffic on the roads and the loss of wildlife habitat and open space.

Criticism was also aimed directly at Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Tina Bruce said: "The new plan has actually increased both the number of properties planned for this Green Belt area, and also the actual area to be built on, without addressing any of the concerns raised around both the loss of the Green Belt and the awful traffic congestion and levels of pollution already experienced in the area.

"Although the busway will have taken some vehicles off of the main roads, this has not had any affect in improving peak-time traffic flow on the one single road which links the East Lancs to Tyldesley and beyond due to the actual increase in number of residents.

"The fields earmarked for development, and also the road at the bottom of Mort Lane have been susceptible to flooding in recent years, and the loss of the fields could potentially exacerbate this problem, making not only the properties built on the land susceptible but also endangering existing properties and businesses in the area, as well as the wildlife and livestock on the adjacent land.

"I am extremely disappointed in the revised plan covering this area, and will write to Mr Burnham to also let him know that he has done nothing to address the concerns which were previously raised."

Christine Warwick, who joined a protest march from Mort Lane to the Mosley Common playing fields, said: "I am absolutely livid at Andy Burnham putting forward our green belt for redevelopment.

"We have already had our green spaces trimmed to the bone by house building with even more still going to be built. Now we are faced with losing not only a flood plain on Mort Lane but more green belt being lost to buildings which can only create an urban sprawl.

"We are advised to walk a mile for health, well, if I walked a mile from Mosley Common I would choke on the fumes being inhaled from the congested Mosley Common Road. There has been no consideration to the road situation around this area.

"We have three primary schools in the area and all are at more than capacity. The doctors has become so congested that we can now go to another surgery in Tyldesley town if we need an urgent appointment to be seen by someone rather than wait.

"We must surely have built our fair share of houses in this area and the roads can’t take any more."

Alison Bruce from the Mort Lane Against GMSF Facebook group said: "If I leave my house at 10am on a normal weekday I can get to the East Lancs Road in five minutes with no traffic issues. When I leave my house at 7am on a week day when the kids at are at school, on a bad day it can take me 40 mins to do the same journey.

"On some days the traffic is that bad it can take me 10 minutes just to get out of the junction from Heathfield Road onto Mort Lane!

"Now add another 1,200 houses into the mix on top of all the new houses that have been or are being built at Garrett Farm with no option but to use Mort Lane and Sale Lane to get anywhere the result will be grid lock.

"The official response seems to be - but the bus route will stop this from happening. I don't think so. Before the bus route was built I was told that it would ease congestion for traffic wanting to travel to the East Lancs - it hasn't!

"My own experiences have proven that traffic is still getting worse month on month, especially in the winter and on the six or so occasions I have used the bus route at 7.30am the buses are already close to capacity.

"If you are unfortunate to want to catch the V bus any closer to Manchester than Hough Lane you are repeatedly faced with full buses or standing all the way to Manchester.

"I still believe that the plans are not viable without major main road construction not just junction improvements. This, of course, they will not do because of the cost and the lack of anywhere obvious to put these new main roads."