When Greater Manchester’s leaders revealed their first ever blueprint for the region’s long-term development, it didn’t last long.
The 2016 ‘spatial framework’ – which mapped out where homes and businesses would be built over 20 years – was swiftly ripped up by Andy Burnham when he took office the following year, having made that a key promise in his election campaign.
Following a backlash from campaigners over proposed plans to develop protected open space, the mayor promised a ‘radical rewrite’ of the document, that would aim for ‘no net loss’ of green belt and concentrate more development in town centres.
Now, after a series of delays, that new version can finally be revealed
Here we list every single major development planned in the latest document – which will be officially launched on Monday morning before going out to consultation – while providing a broad comparison to the original plan.
The new version aims for slightly fewer new homes than previously, revising down the target from 227,000 to 201,000.
Insiders say this was because the original document was planning for more homes than the region needed.
It also concentrates even more ‘high density’ development in Manchester and Salford – apartments, essentially – as well as in town centres such as Stockport and Bolton, in order to reduce the amount of protected green space under threat elsewhere.
Around 15 green belt sites have been removed from the plan altogether.
Nevertheless, nearly 40 of those earmarked in the original version are still in the new draft – albeit substantially reduced in size in many cases, if not the majority.
The total amount of green belt space under threat has roughly halved under the new plan, with a further 65 patches of land given new green belt status.
It also provides more detail than previously about the new transport links that would connect the developments, including proposed tram stops, train stations and rapid bus routes.
And around a quarter of the homes to be built would be classed as ‘affordable’ – 50,000 – with over half of those at social rent, although how the conurbation intends to define affordability, and where those houses would go, is yet to be confirmed.
Below, we run down every major development now proposed, borough by borough.
(If you want to compare directly to the last draft, here’s the run-down we did in 2016 and here’s the original document itself.)
When Andy Burnham called for the original document to be redrawn, a key ambition was to take development out of the green belt and focus it more in town centres – many of which are struggling across Greater Manchester.
As a result the new draft has more of a focus on high-density housing – apartments – in town centres such as Stockport and Bolton.
Stockport council in particular has been concentrating on this agenda over recent months, not least because its original green belt plans had been met with a lot of opposition.
Bolton, meanwhile, has decided to concentrate all its future housing need on the town centre, withdrawing it from the green belt altogether.
However, the spatial framework goes into little detail about exactly how many new homes would be built in town centres, or how they might expand, or whether any new ones might be needed.
That will be a matter for the ‘local plans’ of individual boroughs, it says, all of which are at different stages of development.
Northern Gateway: Bury/Rochdale
This vast expansion, similar to that proposed in 2016, warrants a section in itself.
Seen as a huge priority for council leaders in this part of Greater Manchester, thousands of new homes and acres of business space would be created around the confluence of the M60, M66 and M62.
Much of that would be on green belt, but town halls have fought hard with the mayor’s office to hold onto their plans, arguing that their economies need the expansion in order for their economies to punch their weight.
They hope the Northern Gateway will eventually become the northern part of the conurbation’s answer to Trafford Park.
That vision – which is described in the document as ‘nationally significant’ – splits broadly into four parts, below.
Heywood/Pilsworth: 1,200 new homes, 1.2m sq m employment land
This plan is similar to that proposed in 2016, but appears not to stretch as far north along the M66 as previously.
Split across the Bury and Rochdale borders, it would see around 1,000 homes built, in the eastern part of the land, which runs along the north of the M62 more or less to the border of Heywood.
A further 200 would be built in the west of the site, north of Castlebrook High’s playing fields, plus an extra primary school.
Meanwhile a huge, 1.2m sq m industrial park – focused on advanced manufacturing – would also be built, ‘aimed at a wide range of business sectors’.
Major upgrades to transport links would be needed, says the document.
That includes improvements to junction 3 of the M66, better links between that junction and Junction 19 of the M62 and the potential relocation of Birch services.
A new rail freight spur could be delivered into it, ‘exploiting’ the nearby East Lancs railway and Calder valley line.
Extra rapid bus corridors could be built to serve the expansion, while new green space would be created to make up for the loss, it says.
Simister and Bowlee: 2,700 homes and a new school
South of the M62 and east of the M60, this portion of the Northern Gateway would now deliver around twice as many homes as suggested in the last document.
In total 2,700 new homes are earmarked for land starting north of Heaton Park, stretching out towards Bowlee and Langley.
A new 1,000-place secondary school would also be built, as well as two primaries – a one-form entry and a two-form entry.
Walking routes would be created to connect the community up with the nearby houses at Heywood/Pilsworth and Whitefield (below), along with a potential extension of the Metrolink to Middleton.
The document says the new homes would ‘diversify’ the range of housing in the area,.
This plan is not dissimilar to previous plans put forward in 2016, albeit it appears to incorporate more housing than before and no longer includes a spur of development out to the north east, towards Langley.
Whitefield/Unsworth: 600 new homes
Unlike the two Northern Gateway sites above, this residential expansion sits solely in Bury, as opposed to being split with Rochdale.
As with the other two elements of the vision, it is largely unchanged from 2016’s version.
Wedged into the north east of the M60’s Junction 18, it would provide 600 new homes, as in the previous proposals.
It would also see a new local town centre created to support the new community.
Extra capacity would be added into local schools, says the document, and new highways access, although it does not specify where.
Trees and other green barriers would be added in to buffer the new community from the noise and pollution of the motorway, it says.
Stakehill: 900 homes, 250,000sq m employment space
This Rochdale element of the Northern Gateway has been reduced in scale since 2016 – now proposing half as many homes – but still remains sizeable.
It would see a substantial expansion of the existing Stakehill business park along the M62, but keep a stretch of green belt between the A627 (M) and Thornham Lane to keep a separation between Rochdale and Middleton.
A ‘potential’ new railway station at Slattocks, which is being looked into by transport officials, could be incorporated into the plans, while new school places would be provided – either though new schools or the expansion of existing ones, such as Thornham St John’s Primary, which sits within the footprint of the proposed development area.
The move does involve losing green belt, admits the plan.
“However, it offers an excellent location, as part of the Northern Gateway and Northern Powerhouse with connections through to Liverpool and Leeds,” it adds.
As with the other housing sites in the Northern Gateway, measures would be taken to buffer the communities from motorway pollution, it says.
The city of Manchester, even more than in the last document, takes the brunt of the region’s residential growth over the next two decades.
Brownfield sites in the city will now account for a quarter of the entire projected new housing target for Greater Manchester, by focusing on apartments in and around the city centre.
This has allowed other areas facing major local rows about green belt development to reduce their housing targets – although some may question whether the city centre’s apartment boom will last long enough to be relied upon so heavily.
New industrial space in Manchester will be, as before, around the airport.
Otherwise the plan is not vastly different to 2016’s.
City centre: 50,000 homes, 1.5m sq m offices
Manchester city centre – as in the previous draft – is earmarked for a large chunk of the region’s new housing supply over the next 20 years.
Previously that meant 40,000 new homes, but that has now risen further to 50,000, as Stockport and Trafford have looked to reduce controversial expansion onto green belt since the last version.
That means the city centre now accounts for 25pc of the region’s total planned housing for the next two decades, compared to 17pc previously.
The vast majority of that, at 80pc, is expected to be apartments.
Although the plan is not specific, they are likely to be spread across Manchester council’s existing strategic sites, including around Oxford Road, the land running north out along the Irk Valley and around the Etihad stadium.
Whether the city centre market continues to boom long enough to meet that goal remains to be seen, but either way the move means Manchester – along with Salford – is helping ease the political headaches of other parts of the conurbation.
Manchester city centre is also earmarked for another 1.5m sqm of office space, up from 1.25m sq m.
Roundthorn MediPark and airport logistics hub
Part of a massive planned expansion around Manchester Airport, this – as in 2016 – would see a huge boom in employment space.
At the MediPark, more than 80,000 sq m of ‘general industrial’ space would expand on to fields to the south east, immediately bordering Trafford.
Council bosses hope an extended tram loop will connect it up, along with improvements to nearby major arterial roads.
Meanwhile the ‘global logistics hub’ earmarked to the south of the airport, which was also in the last plan, would create 25,000 sq m of general industrial space suitable for cargo and – potentially – ‘airport operational facilities’.
As last time, the council says it would need to avoid nearby sites of biological importance, such as Cotterill Clough and ancient woodland, although it says where this is not possible ‘mitigation measures’ would be necessary to compensate.
The move would contribute towards the airport’s growth up to 2030, says the document.
As in the last plan, Manchester has allocated a sliver of green belt on the edge of Wythenshawe for 20 new homes.
New vegetation would create a buffer between the development and the adjacent M60, while road improvements would be made to allow access from Southwick Road to the south.
The current play area – pictured – would be replaced with a smaller facility to the south of the existing one, with extra investment also put into the park itself.
Like Manchester, the latest plan sees Salford take a substantial proportion of the new housing proposed for Greater Manchester over the next two decades, including around the Quays.
Again, the focus is particularly on ‘high density’ apartment-style living.
Massive – and controversial – plans to extend Irlam and Cadishead have been significantly reduced, although development in the area remains and other contentious sites around Boothstown are also still in the plan, providing a mixture of executive and affordable housing.
A range of green belt sites, including Worsley Green, have been placed into green belt, however.
Port Salford, meanwhile, remains a major strategic priority for the council and is set to be radically extended over the next 20 years.
Salford Quays: 8,200 homes, 263,000 sq m office space
Last time the area around MediaCity was earmarked for a hefty boom in apartments and office space – and this time the plan goes even further.
In 2016 the Quays were expected to see 6,000 new homes, but that has now increased by more than a third as council chiefs look to build as much high-density housing on brownfield land as possible.
A further 263,000 sq m in office space would also be added in, as Salford looks to capitalise on the successes already seen in and around the BBC’s northern base.
‘Excellent design will continue to be a priority’, says the document.
As in the previous document, improved links to the city centre are promised, but the need for ‘substantial improvements in transport infrastructure, particularly public transport’ are also noted.
Port Salford: 500,000 sq m employment space
A major strategic priority for Salford council – and for landowners Peel – the beginnings of this development are already underway.
This document foresees an even bigger industrial expansion on the site than previously, upping its target from 320,000 sq m of employment space to 500,000 sq m.
Land north of the A57 would come out of the green belt in order to allow the scheme to expand.
The scheme would need considerable highways upgrades in order to continue, says the plan, which says any development ‘must ensure that necessary highway improvements are delivered to accommodate the likely scale of traffic generation, in a way that is compatible with proposals for the enhancement of the wider motorway network’.
North of Irlam Station: 1,600 new homes
In 2016, plans to radically expand Irlam and Cadishead west onto Chat Moss were met with fury.
That would have seen 2,250 new homes effectively join up Irlam with the south side of the M62, probably removing ancient peat at the same time.
The latest draft still proposes a ‘high quality extension to Irlam and Cadishead’ onto green belt, but not to the same degree.
It now earmarks land between New Moss Road and Roscoe Road – ‘focused around the station’ – for 1,600 new homes, although it adds that would take longer to carry out than the 20-year lifetime of the plan.
A ‘broad mix of housing’ is suggested, with denser development – likely to be flats – concentrated nearer to the station itself.
In total a quarter – and if possible more – would be ‘affordable’, split fairly evenly between social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership.
It should housing specifically targeted at older people, says the plan, with at least a quarter of the total classed as ‘affordable’.
A new cycle route would be provided to the station, as well as new allotments, and any loss of peat ‘minimised’.
Next to the RHS site, east of Boothstown: 300 homes
This plan, on land owned by development giant Peel, appears largely unchanged since 2016.
It would add 300 new homes to land between Boothstown and the RHS Bridgewater Garden site, between the canal and Leigh Road.
As last time, this would appear to be aimed at high earners – developed ‘at low density and to an exceptional quality, primarily targeting the top end of the housing market’, aimed at attracting ‘highly skilled workers into Greater Manchester’.
When the last plan was published, the new royal gardens next door were still in planning.
Since then work has got underway, with the attraction due to open in 2020 – so Peel will be keen to complement the adjacent parkland with some luxury homes.
Tory councillors in the vicinity are likely, as last time, to protest however – while residents have long complained about the traffic congestion on Leigh Road.
The council says it would also improve the path along the north side of the canal, while ensuring good walking, cycling and bus links.
It is also planning to create new green belt nearby to make up for some of the loss by safeguarding the currently unprotected Worsley Green.
Hazelhurst Farm: 400 homes
Plans for this land, again owned by Peel, have been doing the rounds for years – including in the 2016 document.
This version slightly reduces plans from two years ago, which earmarked it for 450 homes.
The new strategy appears to allocate moreorless the same site – south of the East Lancs and east of the M60, bordering the community for Hazelhurst – for housing, but is more prescriptive about what sort and who will be able to afford to live there.
This time at least half the new homes would be classed as ‘affordable’, with 37.5pc social rent, 37.5pc affordable rent and 25pc of it shared ownership.
Nearby Worsley Woods would be protected.
‘High quality’ pedestrian routes would link to the nearby guided busway.
Bolton council – which saw considerable protest at its last plans, followed by a tricky political period for its ruling Labour group – has substantially changed its proposals, now earmarking no housing for green belt by choosing to focus it in the town centre instead.
That means plans for thousands of homes around Chequerbent, Hulton Park and Westhoughton have all been removed.
Meanwhile an area vaguely referred to as the ‘north Bolton search area’ in the 2016 document, which set hares running by neither ruling in or out a vast swathe of the borough for 3,000 homes, has also been scrapped.
As a result it is the only council proposing no homes on green belt at all.
Employment space is nonetheless still allocated to currently-protected green land, focused around the M61 corridor.
West of Wingate, J6 of the M61: 440,000 sq m industrial space
This green belt site also featured in the 2016 plan, proposing the same amount of floorspace.
Stretching either side of the M61 – but mostly to the west of it – the proposal would see a huge industrial expansion of ‘large scale distribution’ or ‘advanced manufacturing’ businesses, according to the plan.
That would take advantage of its location next to Junction 6, while providing financial payments – presumably through the planning process – to upgrade nearby roads.
Further masterplanning by the council would bring forward the scheme in phases, it says, including outlining any parts of the site that should not be developed.
Chequerbent North: 25,000 sqm industrial space
This site had originally fitted alongside plans for thousands of new homes at Hulton Park and south of the Chequerbent roundabout.
Those have now been scrapped, however, leaving just the employment element remaining.
Access would come from the A6, as well as potentially from Snydale Way, although high-quality landscaping would be required along that road, it says.
Planning contributions would also be used for public transport, walking and cycling links.
Bewshill Farm: 21,000 sq m industrial space
South of the M61 and either side of the A6, this green belt site would also seek to boost Bolton’s logistics, warehousing and distributions sector.
That would ‘complement’ the next-door Logistics North hub, says the plan, as well as the nearby Middlewood retail park.
Bury’s leaders have particularly struggled to reduce the amount of green belt allocated for development in the borough, due to its lack of brownfield sites.
Some proposals have been nonetheless been removed entirely, including plans for 100 homes in Holcombe Brook on the edge of Ramsbottom, as well as for 150 on the old Gin Hall and Bevis Green sites in Baldingstone.
Substantial residential and industrial developments remain virtually unchanged, however, including in the countryside bordering Walshaw and Elton.
Nevertheless the council has managed to reduce the overall amount of green belt allocated for development by around 40pc.
Walshaw: 1,250 homes
This plan appears to be more or less identical to that put forward in 2016, albeit not stretching quite as far south east.
It would still see more than 1,000 homes built on farmland near Tottington and Elton, either side of Walshaw Road, with the aim of ‘diversifying’ the existing housing provision in the area.
There would be affordable housing ‘provision’, although the plan does not say how much.
New recreational facilities would also be needed, as well as a through-road to avoid traffic having to use Church Street, High Street and Bank Street.
A new local centre – including shops – would be included, as well as an expectation that the developer would pay for a proper infrastructure network within the site.
Elton Reservoir: 3,500 homes
Down the road near Elton reservoir, contentious plans to build 3,500 new homes on parcels of green belt farmland also remain in place, although the sites allocated no longer extend north beyond Bury and Bolton Road.
The new draft earmarks the rest of the land for a ‘broad mix of houses’ that can ‘diversify’ the range of homes available in Bury and Radcliffe.
It would need ‘significantly’ improved infrastructure, according to the plan, including a ‘spine’ road leading south from the A58 to Bury Road.
That would connect to Spring Lane in Radcliffe, via the former Coney Green High site.
There would also be the expectation, says the plan, of a new tram stop in Warth, with park and ride facilities.
As last time, this site would still make one of the single biggest contributions to housing allocations in the whole of Greater Manchester, but is likely to cause renewed concern among neighbours.
In 2016 the Tory then-MP for the area, David Nuttall, opposed the move, as did local Liberal Democrats.
Seedfield: 140 homes
This part-open space at Limefield was allocated in the 2016 for 135 homes.
The latest plans say ‘provision’ will be made for affordable housing – although it is not specific – as well as extra capacity in nearby schools.
Surrounding roads may also need improving.
Arguably the borough that saw the biggest political ructions as a result of 2016’s plan.
The then-Tory administration had earmarked land around Flixton Station – including the William Wroe golf course – for 750 homes, but the backlash was immediate.
Ultimately a vociferous campaign, backed by Labour, helped to see the Conservatives lose control of the council at the following local election.
That site has now, unsurprisingly, been taken out by the new administration, but the two chunkier green belt developments proposed in the original draft remain in place.
Trafford, like Stockport, has not quite met its local housing target as a result of the changes – but because Greater Manchester as a whole is drawing up this plan, other areas such as Manchester and Salford have been able to pick up some of the slack.
Carrington: 6,100 homes
This giant mixed-use development – a longstanding priority for the council – would see more than 6,000 homes built over the first 20 years.
That is slightly less than the 7,500 originally proposed in 2016.
In the long run, however, up to 10,000 could eventually be reached, via a series of ‘distinctive’ neighbourhoods that would be at their densest near to Sale West.
A further 410,000 sq m of industrial and warehousing space would be added alongside, around half that proposed two years ago.
The site would still, as previously planned, have a wedge of green belt running through the middle.
Timperley Wedge: 2,400 homes, 60,000 sq m employment space
Like the Carrington site, this large green belt site near the proposed HS2 stop at the aitport remains a major strategic priority for Trafford council in the new document.
Nevertheless plans have been trimmed since the 2016 version, reducing the number of proposed homes from 3,300.
Those will be – as at Carrington – a ‘broad mix’ of different homes, both to rent and to buy, with 30pc of them ‘affordable’.
That would create ‘a distinctive neighbourhood’ with apartments proposed closer to the airport.
New employment space would provide ‘high quality’ offices to complement expanding industries both at the airport and south Manchester’s growing health technology sector.
A new spine road would run east-west, connecting Altrincham with the airport, while some of the land would be kept as green belt for use as public space.
Oldham council, like Rochdale and Bury, had pushed the mayor’s office over its existing plans to build onto green belt.
In the north and east of the conurbation, town halls are determined to ensure they can expand their local economies, rather than the region’s growth be weighted – as it has been in the past – towards the centre and south.
They have also pointed to a general lack of brownfield land, although Oldham has in this document looked to include more housing in the town centre.
Oldham has added a string of new sites into the green belt as part of the plan.
Nevertheless a string of existing green belt sites remain in scope for development, in some cases with more building proposed than before.
Broadbent Moss: 1,450 homes, 21,720 new employment space
This green belt site near Sholver proposes almost 50pc more homes than in the original plan, but around half the amount of new employment space.
The land earmarked for use appears to be unchanged from the original version.
In total nearly 1,500 new homes would be built, ‘providing a range of dwelling types and sizes’, including family homes.
Affordable housing will be included, but it does not say how much.
In addition the nearby Higginshaw business area would be expanded into new employment space, albeit less than the nearly 50,000 sq m proposed in the original plan.
A new tram would be needed to serve this area and the Beal Valley proposal – below – that could include a Park & Ride facility, it says.
Beal Valley: 480 homes
This green belt site north of the Broadbent proposal is still earmarked for homes, but considerably fewer than the 900 suggested in 2016.
The outline of the proposed development area looks pretty much identical to the last plan, however.
Again a ‘range of dwelling types and sizes’ would create ‘inclusive neighbourhoods and meet local needs’, including new family housing.
New access would be created from Sumner Street to the north west, Fenton Street and off Oldham Road, opposite Beckley Close, linking to a new north-south spine road.
A new tram stop would be added too.
Cowlishaw: 460 homes
As with the Beal Valley site, this is the same land allocated in 2016, but with fewer homes on it.
Two years ago this currently ‘protected open land’ – not as strictly safeguarded as green belt, but similar – to the south west of Shaw was earmarked for 640 homes, prompting an immediate and fierce campaign from local people.
That number has now been reduced, but the footprint appears to be the same.
The new proposal would, as in the sites above, deliver a range of differently homes, including family housing.
Access would be from Cocker Mill Lane.
Hanging Chadder: 260 homes
Again, this green belt site near Royton was in the 2016 plan, but at that point with 600 homes allocated.
Similarly the footprint indicated in the new document looks to be the same as in the last.
Alongside the new homes – which would be on fields just off the A627 (M) – new access would be created off Castleton Road, near the junction of Garden Terrace, forming a spine road through the site.
New access would also be created off Rochdale Road, to the part of the site north of Grasmere Road, while farm access would be retained.
Thornham Old Road: 600 homes
Just down the road from the Hanging Chadder proposal, this site to the north west of Royton is a new addition, not having appeared in the 2016 plan.
With the border of Rochdale immediately to the north, housing has been allocated to land either side of Thornham Old Road, with Tandle Hill country park to the south east and the A627 (M) to the west.
The site would see hundreds of new homes, including family housing.
‘Appropriate’ new access points would be created, according to the plan, although it does not say exactly where those would be.
Extra school places – either through expansions or new schools – and health facilities would be needed, it adds.
Woodhouses: 260 homes
Another new plan, absent from the 2016 document, allocates housing to three separate parcels of land around the village of Woodhouses.
The largest of those lies to the north west of the village, immediately behind the Woodhouse Gardens pub – with the footprint appearing to extend almost as far as Failsworth.
Another wedge sits next to the M60, stretching north from Ashton Road towards Cutler Road.
The smallest sits south of the village, appearing to extend off Hartshead Crescent onto fields.
It is not clear from the plan how many homes would go on each site, but it says ‘appropriate’ access points will be provided in order to lessen the impact on surrounding roads, plus ‘high quality walking and cycling infrastructure and public transport facilities’ such as bus stops.
‘High quality landscaping’ and ‘green infrastructure’ will also be needed in order to soften the visual impact, it adds.
Ashton Road Corridor: 260 homes
These two sites, too, have been added in since the 2016 draft.
One sits in Limehurst, immediately on the border with Tameside – a parcel of undeveloped green space to the east of Ashton Road and north of Park Bridge Road.
The other, larger, site lies further up Ashton Road to its west, north of Coal Pit Lane, bordering Hathershaw.
As previously, the plan does not go into huge detail about the types of homes – other than to say they will vary – or what extra transport or access will be needed, other than to say that it will need to be taken into account.
It does not say how many homes would go on each site.
South of Rosary Road: 60 homes
Another new proposal, near to the Ashton Road sites above, these homes would be built on a parcel of farmland on the south eastern edge of Hathersaw.
Bordered by residential streets – Rosary Road to the north, Mills Farm Close and St Cuthberts Fold to the west – and Bank Top Farm to the south, the plan again forecasts a mix of houses with new transport and access as appropriate.
Spinners Way/Alderney Farm: 50 homes
This the is the final green belt addition in Oldham’s part of the new spatial framework, although this site to the north east of Moorside has been mooted for residential development before, also making an appearance in the council’s last borough-wide masterplanning process nearly a decade ago.
Again the plan goes into little detail, beyond earmarking land to the sout-east of Ripponden Road – behind the cul-de-sac at Spinners Way – for 50 homes and potential road improvements to avoid placing pressure on surrounding traffic.
New landscaping should be introduced to mitigate the impact on any surrounding countryside, which the plan notes includes the south Pennines foothills.
Robert Fletchers: 170 homes, 6,000 sq m commercial
This redundant paper mill – again in the green belt – was in the last plan, too, earmarked for holiday homes and upmarket housing.
The latest version now sees a mixture of executive housing and ‘low density’ homes for families, plus affordable homes of two or three beds, albeit slightly fewer than the 220 units suggested last time.
This time it adds in shops and cafes, however.
Again seeking to capitalise on the mill’s proximity to the Dovestones Reservoir and Peak District National Park, it now proposes a mix of ‘commercial, leisure and retail facilities to support tourism’.
Tameside council has moreorless hit its expected housing projections in the new plan, without needing to rely on Manchester or Salford to take extra numbers.
Last time the town hall faced opposition from a number of quarters over its plans, including from Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne, who raised concerns about green belt development.
Plans for Ashton Moss – still a major strategic priority for the council – have been reduced in the new plan and a 600-home proposal for Sidebottom Fold in Stalybridge has been removed altogether, as well as two large development suggested for Mottram and nearly 700 homes earmarked for land north of Ashton-under-Lyne.
Flagship plans for an entirely new village at Godley Green remain, as do a new village south of Hyde.
Ashton Moss West: 175,000 sq m employment space
Vast plans to build on either side of the M60 around Ashton Moss, between Junctions 22 and 23, have been significantly reduced.
In 2016 the plan foresaw nearly 2,000 near homes and 200,00 sq m of employment space stretching from Ashton-Under-Lyne in the east to Droylsden in the west.
Since then all the footprint east of the M60 – including Ashton Sports Park – has been removed from the plan.
The part to the west of the motorway has also been significantly reduced, with its northern half removed and development now stopping moreorless at Lumb Lane.
Under the new plan, council bosses foresee the remaining land taken up with business and general industrial space.
Godley Green garden village: 2,350 homes
Plans to build a self-contained new garden village south east of Hyde – appear to have remained as they stood in 2016.
The new plan outlines the same footprint – open green belt to the north of Mottram Old Road, near Hattersley – for an entirely new community, featuring thousands of homes.
It promises ‘innovative and creative’ architecture will create ‘aspirational and desirable communities’ on the edge of the countryside.
The vision is part of the government’s ‘garden village’ scheme, championed by local MP Jonathan Reynolds.
Access would be from Mottram Old Road, while a pedestrian/cycle bridge to Hattersley station would also be added.
South of Hyde – 440 homes, new garden village
This includes most of the plan included in the 2016 version under the title ‘south Tameside’, but with one site missing.
That would have seen 1,000 homes built across two sites – one at Hyde Hall farm, south west of Haughton Green, and the other on either side of the A560 bordering Stockport.
The Hyde Hall Farm element has now been taken out, halving the overall proposal.
What remains would see two parcels of land near Woodley developed into a new garden village.
That includes one site to the north west of the A560, near to the railway line, with the other – larger – plot on the other side of Stockport Road, stretching out towards Romiley golf course.
Like Godley Green, this new community would be designed using ‘garden village principles’, ‘creating aspirational and desirable communities in which to live’.
Alongside Trafford, Stockport council faced a particularly keen political headache after the last draft of the spatial framework emerged.
The borough has little in the way of brownfield sites to rely upon, meaning several very large housing developments were proposed for green belt in 2016 – in a borough where political control is always on a knife-edge.
As a result a new ‘mayoral development corporation’ is being created to cover Stockport town centre, aimed at assembling brownfield land for high-density housing, particularly around the station and King Street West.
Manchester and Salford have also upped their housing targets, meaning Stockport is able to fall slightly short of its overall numbers.
Nevertheless, all the original green belt sites remain in the new plan – albeit with significantly reduced numbers of housing allocated to them.
Woodford Aerodrome: 750 homes
A huge and controversial green-belt proposal in the original plan, this has been substantially reduced since 2016.
Where previously a huge swathe of fields stretching either side of Chester Road would have been developed into 2,400 new homes, now around a third of that total will be concentrated around the old aerodrome site.
The new footprint runs up to the border with Cheshire East, stretching out across the aerodrome and up to the village, although the exact borders are unclear from the maps available.
Of the homes proposed, 40pc would be ‘affordable’, according to the plan, including the potential for retirement accommodation and custom build.
The development would be done in phases, determined at a later date by the council, which promises superfast broadband.
Griffin Farm, Stanley Green: 850 homes
This huge green belt site off the Handforth bypass was another proposal to spark controversy in 2016 and has, again, been considerably scaled back.
Originally earmarked for 3,700 homes, the footprint no longer stretches as far north, now moreorless stopping at Wilmslow Road’s junction with Sydall Avenue – meaning development is no longer proposed for the green space behind those residential streets.
The site no longer expands across to the other side of the bypass, either, having previously taken up a large patch of green fields north east of St James’s RC High, next to Smithy Green.
Under the latest plans, 30pc of the new homes would be affordable, with a new ‘transport hub’ proposed for its heart – around which ‘higher density’ housing would be built.
Enough land would be left over to ensure the ‘retention and improvement’ of the area used by the adjacent Seashell Trust school, it adds.
High Lane: 500 homes
A third site to cause huge controversy in 2016, this one has also been cut back significantly.
Two years ago the council was proposing a whopping 4,000 new homes for green fields around the village of High Lane, in the south of the borough, prompting opposition from local MP Will Wragg and particular anger over the effect on congested surrounding roads.
The new document cuts those numbers by well over three quarters, also promising a new train station to serve the community.
Its new footprint has been cut back to no longer run either side of Windlehurst Road and does not stretch as far north, either.
However a new swathe of land – south of the A6, bounded by Middlewood Road to the east – has been added in.
Around 30pc of the homes would be ‘affordable’, according to the plan, including older people’s housing and custom-build.
Heald Green: 850 homes
Another site included in the 2016 plan, the number of homes earmarked for green space to the east of the railway line here has been cut back from 2,000.
The new footprint appears to be smaller in size, but now takes up open green space behind Heald Green village hall – which was not included in the last plan – with a spur of development running around Outwood Farm to the north and east.
As with previous sites, around 30pc of homes would be ‘affordable’ with a ‘comprehensive’ council masterplanning exercise to be undertaken to ensure all the necessary infrastructure would be in place – although no exact details regarding the impact on surrounding roads is included.
Hyde Bank Meadows: 250 homes
This green space adjoining Cherry Tree in Romiley are also earmarked for new housing, including Tangshutt Fields.
Bordered by the railway line to the south, the development would be accessed off Gotherage Lane, according to the plan, along with ‘comprehensive traffic calming’ on the Cherry Tree estate.
Around 30pc of the homes would be affordable.
Former Offerton High School: 250 homes
This new addition allocates housing on green space behind the former Offerton High School, including – according to the map – on the old playing fields and green space around the Dialstone sports centre.
Around 40pc of the housing would be ‘affordable’, with access from the Fairway and Curzon Road and junction improvements and traffic calming measures included.
The plan does not say whether the housing would take up all of the green space, simply drawing a line around everything between the tree-line and the edge of Offerton.
Gravel Bank Road/Unity Mill: 250 homes
This new suggested development in the curve of the canal north west of Woodley would see new housing built on open green space, along with the conversion of the derelict Unity Mill.
The mill itself would become apartments, while a ‘broad mix’ of housing types – 30pc of it affordable – would be built on the fields to its south east, currently accessed from Gravel Bank Road.
A ‘visually attractive’ environment would be ensured through good design and layout, it says, taking account of the nearby heritage landmarks.
Bredbury Park extension: 90,000 sq m employment space
A major economic priority for Stockport council, this also featured in the 2016 plan.
As previously, it proposes a 90sq m expansion of the Bredbury Park industrial estate, east and up the River Tame.
Its footprint appears to be the same as in the plan issued two years ago.
The main vehicle access would be via Bredbury Parkway, it says, with attention given to any traffic impact on Ashton Road and at Junction 25 of the M60.
Such a move may well bring rise to further opposition from neighbouring Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne, who objected to the first plan – including on traffic grounds – and as recently as July wrote a further blog post reiterating is views.
Rochdale council arguably had the opposite headache to boroughs in the south: it actively wanted to expand onto green belt more than the mayor’s office would have liked.
The town hall views the spatial framework as an opportunity to set the direction of travel for its economy, including earmarking land for a radical expansion of employment space.
That includes the Northern Gateway plans around the M60 and M62, above.
Green belt sites at Lane End in Heywood have been removed, and a range of others added into the green belt.
Several extra areas of currently-protected space are now also earmarked for development, however.
Major transport improvements are mooted, including a new tram to Middleton and the potential for tram-trains to be run down the East Lancs railway.
Kingsway South: 700 new homes, 310,000 sq m employment space
This is seen as a major priority for both Rochdale and Oldham councils, expanding existing business space at Kingsway business park south across the M62 towards High Crompton in the south and Newhey in the east.
Proposed upgrades to J21 of the motorway – with a new bridge over the motorway – would allow better connections to the site, which would also get a shuttle bus from the Kingsway tram stop and better bus corridoes along Rochdale Road.
Rochdale council sees the proposal as ideal for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries.
While green belt would be lost, it proposes that ‘significant’ swathes of green belt within the site should also be kept in order to maintain a separation between Newhey and High Crompton.
Roch Valley: 210 homes
In 2016, plans for the Roch Valley totalled 300 homes across two sites between Smallbridge and Littleborough.
That has now been reduced to just the larger of the two, running west from Smithy Bridge Road along the River Roch and north as far as the fringes of Hurstead.
Rochdale council says the northern part of the site – bordering existing residential streets – would take the new housing, accessed mainly from Smithy Bridge Road.
It also promises suitable flood mitigation, including ‘sustainable drainage’, and new walking routes through to nearby town centres and the river itself.
North of Smithy Bridge: 300 homes
As in the 2016 document, this land running down to Hollingworth Lake would take another 300 homes, described as being suitable for ‘higher income households’.
Bordered at the northern end by the canal, to the east by Hollingworth Road and to the west by Smithybridge village, the development would ‘take advantage of its attractive setting’ bounded by two different waterside destinations.
The new layout would be carefully designed to fit with the housing bordering it at Smithybridge, as well as proposed new housing on the nearby former Akzo Nobel brownfield site.
Bamford/Norden: 450 homes
This contentious site remains in the new plan, but with considerably fewer than the 750 homes originally proposed.
As in the first plan, however, the council wants to see upmarket housing on the parcel of green belt to the west of Norden.
Those homes would be ‘predominantly in the western and southern parts of the site, with a focus on larger, higher value properties to balance out the current offer within the borough’.
Existing recreational facilities would be kept and improved to create a ‘hub’ for the local area, with access from ‘suitable points along Norden Road’.
Trows Farm: 360 homes
A site currently designated as ‘open protected land’ – similar to green belt – this was also in the 2016 version.
Situated near Crown Business Park, it would now take 360 homes as opposed to the 500 suggested two years ago.
The plan notes that there is already an issue with local primary places, stressing that a new school would be needed to cope with the extra homes.
New walking and cycling routes would be provided to nearby Castleton Station.
Newhey Quarry: 250 homes
Like Crimble Mill below, this site has been added in to the spatial framework since the last draft.
It would take hundreds of new homes in a strip running along Huddersfield Road towards Woodside, with the highest-density development to the south east of the site towards the existing village centre and Metrolink.
More expensive housing could be included in the greener, more northerly part of the land.
The designs should ‘incorporate the features of the quarry’ to create a unique new development, according to the plan, with water features and interesting open spaces.
Crimble Mill: 250 homes
A new addition to the plan, this listed early 19th Century cotton mill in Heywood would be converted into homes and surrounded by more in the latest document.
According to the plan this move would improve the mill, which has seen warnings from Historic England in the past over its state of repair, to secure its long-term future.
Green space running north up to the River Roch and west to Heywood cricket club – with existing residential streets to the south – would see hundreds of homes created ‘in an attractive riverside setting’.
Any designs would respect the mill itself, the nearby river and Queens Park, it says, with access from the A58.
Castleton Sidings: 125 homes, possible new tram
This swathe of railway-adjacent land – between Castleton and Heywood – could not only see new homes but two significant new transport links.
To the eastern half, in order to avoid eating into green belt, would be more than 100 new homes – with the western part turned into open space or a new conservation area, kept in the green belt.
At the north east of the site a temporary rail halt – and parking – would be installed to allow the East Lancs railway to be extended from Heywood to Castleton.
Potentially, if that work went ahead, a ‘tram train trial project’ would then be taken forward too.
Wigan council has taken some substantial green belt proposals out of its original plans, although many industrial sites remain.
The borough in competition with neighbouring authorities – including West Lancashire – economically and hopes to radically expand its logistics and warehousing industry by expanding onto sites around the M6 and the East Lancs corridor.
A highly contentious proposal to build around Junction 26 of the M6 at Pemberton has been removed, however, a move that had prompted a huge row over the future of the area’s donkey sanctuary.
Further controversial proposals for 1,000 new homes on land between Astley and Boothstown, on the border of Salford, have also been scrapped, as well as plans for Cleworth Hall and north of New Springs.
Other sites have been changed from housing to employment, or vice versa.
North of Mosley Common: 1,200 homes
This land on the East Lancs corridor – bounded by Mosley Common, Tyldsesley, Ellenbrook and more green belt land – also featured in the 2016 version, at that stage earmarked for 1,000 homes.
That has now been increased, with the footprint appearing to be moreorless the same.
Highest density homes would be built nearest to existing stops on the adjacent Leigh Guided Busway – with, as previously, an additional stop also proposed.
‘High quality road access’ would be included MORE DETAIL HERE
Pocket Nook: 600 homes, 15k sq m employment space
Another East Lancs corridor site featured in the last plan, this farmland – sandwiched between the A580 and the village of Lowton – is now earmarked for housing, alongside a vastly reduced amount of employment space.
Around 600 homes have been allocated to the land, with 75 of those to the west of the proposed HS2 spur on land accessed from Rowan Avenue.
Also to the west of that trainline would come new employment floorspace – down from 130,000 sq m in the last plan – accessed from Newton Road.
A new road would be built through the site from Newton Road to Atherleigh Way, the latter forming the main access route to the site via a new junction – which would also serve the South Pennington site, below.
South of Pennington 160,000 sq m employment space
Previously allocated for 1,000 homes in the last plan, this expansion of Pennington down the East Lancs is now intended for commercial development.
A slightly reduced footprint would see significant new employment space built, with a new junction on Atherleigh Way – as above – and ‘opportunities’ to extend the guided busway to serve the site.
The plan also promises a green ‘wildlife corridor’ as a buffer along the north of the site.
M6, Junction 25: 140,000sq m of B2 and B8 business space
A hugely strategically important site for Wigan council, the amount of employment space at this site off the M6 has nonetheless been more than halved.
In the last plan the development crept south east of the slip-road towards Bryn, but that part has since been scrapped.
The resulting proposal is now limited to land wedged into the northerly v-shape between the M6, the slip-road and the southern fringe of Winstanley.
It would provide a mixture of industrial space and warehousing, with a ‘robust’ green corridor buffering the development and residential streets in Winstanley.
The move would have ‘no significantly adverse impact on the motorway, says the plan.
West of Gibfield: 700 homes, 45,500 sq m of employment space
This plan appears moreorless unchanged from the 2016 document, albeit with 50 fewer houses.
Bordering Atherton, development on either side of Gibfield Park Way would act as a ‘logical extension to Gibfield’ park, according to the new draft.
The commercial space proposed would be similar to that at J25 of the M6 – industrial, logistics and warehousing.