MP slams ‘Call for Sites’ process as a “purge of the Green Belt”

CXK1oGCWAAAOAii[1]Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has slammed the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for considering ‘thoroughly unsuitable’ sites for future housing development.

The Authority is currently consulting on its Spatial Framework which will identify suitable sites for housing and economic growth across the city region up to 2026.

Mr Gwynne has previously complained to the Combined Authority that the initial map put out to public consultation over Christmas and the New Year was not widely publicised amongst the public.  However, today (Monday 7th March), a revised map has been published, which includes further suggested sites from developers.  From this combined list of sites, the GMCA will decide which sites will go forward for inclusion into the Draft Spatial Framework later in the year.

Four new sites identified in or adjacent to Mr Gwynne’s constituency include land currently with Green Belt protected status.  They include:

  • Hyde Hall Farm, off Town Lane in Denton – which has previously been refused for housing development on the basis the open space forms part of the Tame Valley.
  • Jet Amber Fields in Denton, Audenshaw and Dukinfield – which was converted from a landfill site into a countryside park setting by the former Greater Manchester Council in the 1970s and forms an integral part of the Tame Valley.  It is also an important flood plain, and as recently as this winter, was submerged in flood water.
  • Ashton Moss – land at the rear of Brendon Drive, Audenshaw
  • Woodhall Fields – land in South Reddish and Tiviot Dale, currently part of the Reddish Vale Country Park

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I accept that Greater Manchester needs to identify future housing and business provision to secure its future growth, but this ‘Call for Sites’ is beginning to look like a Green Belt grabbing free-for-all.

“40 years ago, the GMC saw that improving the conurbation’s environment was important for improving the ‘Satanic mills’ image of Greater Manchester, and its lasting legacy were the rejuvenated river valleys. That its successor – the GMCA – are even thinking of developing the river valleys just frankly appals me.  We need access to open countryside, clean air and recreational space in the city region to make it an attractive place to live.  How short-sighted can you get?

“I will be opposing several sites identified in this Call for Sites process.  It appears to be nothing more than a purge of the Green Belt, river valleys and open space to make a quick buck.  We need a sensible approach to growth and strategic planning.  We need to identify sites that can sensibly and realistically be brought forward without damaging our environment, and we need sites that the infrastructure of Greater Manchester can support.

“I urge people to look on the Call for Sites website and to make their views known to the GMCA before their Draft Spatial Framework is developed later in the year.”

The plan can be viewed at: http://mappinggm.org.uk/call-for-sites/development-sites.htm

Responses should be sent to:

gmsfcallforsites@agma.gov.uk

Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA

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