With the latest version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) set to be discussed by Trafford Council’s Executive meeting, local Conservatives are outraged by what is being proposed and the process to deliver it. The GMSF is a strategic land allocation plan led by the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester and other council leaders and will result in the release of Green Belt land for residential and industrial development across Trafford and Greater Manchester.
In Trafford, there are two major Green Belt releases. In Carrington 4,300 homes are to be delivered in the Plan period to 2037, and 5,000 homes in total beyond the Plan period. This will result in a Green Belt reduction of 169 hectares and funding has still to be identified for a relief road which is seen as a key infrastructure project for the development. At the Timperley Wedge, The Allocation Policy for the site identifies development of 1,700 homes and 15,000 square metres of employment land in the Plan period to 2037, and 2,500 residential units and 60,000 square metres of employment land in total extending beyond the plan period, resulting in 100 hectares of Green Belt loss.
The next stage in the GMSF process in Trafford will see an Executive Report being discussed by the Labour dominated council on 2 November 2020 and if approved, the Council then starts a resident ‘consultation’ with supporting documents only available for residents to view online.
Commenting on the plan to build on Green Belt land in Trafford, Cllr. Dave Morgan, Shadow Executive Member Housing and Regeneration said “It’s hugely disappointing that the Trafford Labour Group are bringing proposals forward to decimate Trafford’s precious Green Belt. At the Council’s Executive meeting, councillors are being asked to approve the GMSF first and then it goes out to consultation with residents. That means that it’s not a meaningful consultation, but rather a statement of intent, as the vote will approve the strategic site allocations and Green Belt boundary amendments irrespective of any resident objections.
“The Report being taken to the Executive meeting is also contradictory in nature and references the GMSF supporting Greater Manchester’s ambition to be a carbon neutral city-region by 2038 with a key element of this is to require all new development to be net zero carbon by 2028 and to keep fossil fuels in the ground. However, the GMSF then recommends the building of homes and associated infrastructure on Carrington Moss and Timperley Wedge which will destroy carbon capturing wetland moss and decimate wildlife. It will also reduce resident’s access to green, open space and will reduce physical activity opportunities.
“There clearly is a need for additional housing in Trafford, but not through the GMSF which will likely negatively impact on the Council’s declared Climate Emergency’s ambition for a carbon neutral Trafford. The Council instead should remain committed to a Brownfield First policy prioritising housing development on previously developed land and provide protection to our much valued Green Belt.
“Despite the Labour administration trying to spin it that building on the Green Belt will somehow save it, Trafford Conservative councillors will be voting against Green Belt development and we are encouraging councillors from other parties on the council to do the same.”