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Where next for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework?

event report

The deadline for responses to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework consultation passed  at 23.59 on Monday 16th January 2017.  So what comes next?

The simple timescale is outlined on the GMSF website which expects publication of the GMSF in 2017,  followed by submission, public examination and adoption in 2018. But given the scale and depth of opposition to the draft GM Spatial Framework it will be interesting to see what happens to the timetable and the GMSF plan itself.

Manchester Friends of the Earth submitted a detailed response to the GMSF consultation, as did many other organisations and hundreds of people. Literally, thousands of people took part in demonstrations across Greater Manchester (see below),

Our response to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework sets out the following objections:

* Failure to tackle the site specific and broader issues of air quality
* Unnecessary release of green belt
* Failure to promote healthy living and tackle health inequalities
* Inadequate waste and minerals consideration
* Lack of targets to tackle environmental issues
* Failure to set out a vision for a sustainable economy for the long term future

The start of a sh*tstorm?

Jennifer Williams, the political/social affairs editor for the Manchester Evening News tweeted on January 12th that Andy Burnham, Leigh MP and Greater Manchester mayoral candidate, comments were the “beginnings of what I believe is technically referred to as a sh*tstorm for Greater manchester’s leadership”.

The beginnings of what I believe is technically referred to as a sh-tstorm for Greater Manchester's leadership

Jane Brophy, the Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester, created a petition to demand that green spaces in the region are protected.

Many of Greater Manchester MPs responded to the GMSF consultation and the Manchester Evening News reported that “Council bosses could back down on controversial plans to build on Greater Manchester’s green belt.”

The launch of the GMSF consultation was also the spark that ignited many local protests and saw campaign groups spring up across Greater Manchester.  The consultation may have closed but the campaign groups continue to organise, protest and lobby. Listed below are some of the groups and actions (we will add more as we find them).

The Save the Greenbelt Groups coalition is organising a ‘March on Manchester’ on Saturday 1st April.  See poster below.

save the Greebelt groups - march on manchester

Local actions and groups campaigning against GMSF proposals.

This is a work in progress (updated as we get more details).

Save Greater Manchesters GreenBelt (umbrella) group  @SGMG2017

Group for committee members of residents groups to provide support and information to each other.
Groups include..

The People Vs Taylor Wimpey – Middleton, Rochdale
Save the Green Belt at Heywood – Rochdale
Goyt Valley SOS – Offerton, Bredbury and Torkington
Save Stockports Greenbelt – Marple & High lane, Stockport
Save Greenbelt: Godley Green Hyde, Sidebottom Fold Stalybridge and Gee Cross – Tameside
Save Flixton Greenbelt
Planning for our Future Irlam and Cadishead
Bury Folk against Manchester Spatial Framework
Save Heald Green Green Belt
Keep Cowlishaw Green
Save Shaws Green Belt
Save St Helens and Rainford Greenbelt
Save our Greenbelt at Yew Tree Farm
Save Roytons Greenbelt
Save Chaddertons Beautiful Greenbelt
Heald Green and Long Lane Ratepayers
Pennington Save Our Greenbelt
Proposed Housing Development and the Astley Residents Action Group- ARAG
Peel Hall Residents against WMBC
(Outside GMSF but supported)
Save Timperley Wedge Greenbelt
Friends of Horrocks Fold
Save Middleton’s Greenbelt
Hulton Estate Area Residents Together (HEART)
Help to Save Atherton’s Greenbelt
Save Our Villages (Newhey and Milnrow)
Save Bamford Greenbelt
Save Our Greenbelt – Heald Green, Cheadle Hulme, Bramhall & Woodford
M6 South of Wigan Action Group
SOS Save Our Slattocks and Stakehill
Save Stalybridge Greenbelt
Save The Bell Greenbelt from Development


A spokesman for Bellway Homes said the site had been owned by the developer for 10 years and has been identified in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plan. (Bolton News: 129 homes for Westhoughton rejected at planning meeting.)


Petition to Bury Council: To suspend the consultation process until an independent review has taken place of Bury’s housing needs.

Farm owner ‘shocked and confused’ after land included in development plan document” (Bury Times). A FARM owner has been left “shocked and confused” after he discovered his land has been included in a planning document. Dwayne Wilson bought Doffer Fold Farm in Radcliffe five months ago and only realised that his land had been included in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework draft plan when another resident turned up at his house.

Hundreds march in protest against plans to build homes on green belt land across Bury and Radcliffe. (Prestwich and Whitefield Guide).

Outraged residents call for council leader to resign at meeting over plans to build houses on green belt land. (Bury Times).

Bury Folk Against Manchester Spatial Framework (BFMSF) group
See video from Save Bury’s Greenbelt campaign


Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams said “As it stands, I don’t support the draft GMSF proposals and, in particular, I don’t support the proposals affecting Oldham and my constituents. In short, the draft GMSF proposals need to be reworked.

Parish councillor Shaun Duffy proposed a motion at the authority’s full council meeting, urging the organisation to examine how Oldham could withdraw from the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).

Saddleworth: Dovestone and Chew Valley Action Group, formed to fight the proposals under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, have pledged to step up opposition to the scheme. (Saddleworth Independent)


Opposition groups have sprung up across Greater Manchester Credit: ITV Granada

Opposition groups have sprung up across Greater Manchester Credit: ITV Granada

That’s the view of several groups of angry residents which have sprung up all over the area to oppose plans contained in one of the most controversial documents of recent times – the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. (

Residents of Middleton have been invited to walk from Boarshaw canal bridge to Tandle Hill at 10.30am on Bank Holiday Monday 2 January 2017 in protest to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans to build on Middleton’s Green Belt land.

Bamford Green Belt Action Group


Save Stockport’s Greenbelt group (Facebook).

Save Stockport's Greenbelt - no to mass development

Manchester Evening News: “Could Stockport council veto the entire region’s plans to build on the green belt?


Charlotte Castro, who helped to organise the Tameside event, said she understood houses needed to be built, but questioned whether “affordable housing for young people” would be built on the land.


More than 1,000 residents took part in a demonstration at Flixton Fields. The event – organised by the Save Flixton Green Belt group – was held to protest at town hall proposals to build houses on swathes of land in Flixton as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).


Uproar over plans to build hundreds of homes on Trafford golf course. Three thousand people are opposing proposals in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework for William Wroe golf course. (Manchester Evening News)


Wigan MP, Lisa Nandy, said “It seems most of the big decisions have already been made before the public are aware of what’s happening and have had a chance to influence the process.”

Makerfield MP, Yvonne Fovargue said “From the start, there has been no meaningful democratic oversight. Elected councillors across Greater Manchester have been bypassed and the public have rightly responded with a mixture of anger and frustration at an engineered top down process that has all the hallmarks of a ‘we know best’ mentality.” (Wigan Today)

Guardian: Wigan farm – and Blackpool’s donkeys – are threatened by housebuilding plan

Latham House farm, home to livestock and holiday destination for Blackpool’s donkeys, is fighting building plan

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