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Places for Everyone – Joint Development Plan Document – Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan consultation – Manchester Friends of the Earth response.

Manchester Friends of the Earth submitted our response to the Places for Everyone – Joint Development Plan consultation on 3rd October 2021. Below is a summary of our response and the full document is available as a PDF.

Manchester Friends of the Earth welcomes the development of a plan that will shape the region’s development over the next 20 years, and seeks to address key issues such as health and well-being, inequality and environmental protection and improvement. We particularly welcome the focus on policies to protect, conserve and improve wetlands and uplands.1.4 The P4E plan should enable net zero-carbon homes, liveable neighbourhoods accessible by sustainable transport, and access to green space and clean air for everyone as a key priority.

In summary, Manchester Friends of the Earth:

  • believe that the Places for Everyone plan does not sufficiently reflect the urgent need to reduce climate change emissions in Greater Manchester and tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.
  • wholly supports new developments being zero net carbon but believes that too much time is being given for developers to meet the GM 2028 zero-carbon homes deadline – the compliance date should be brought forward to 2023.
  • believes that the P4E plan fails to be compliant with NPPF paragraph 138 on green belt purpose and paragraph 140 in terms of ‘exceptional circumstances’ through local plan review.
  • feel the timing of such a quantum of Green Belt release is unprecedented and unjustified; contrary to the five purposes and in direct conflict with the permanence argument set out in the NPPF
  • supports the idea of “simultaneously” maximising economic, social and environmental benefits and minimisation of adverse impacts, but does not support biodiversity net gain in an environmental context.
  • asks the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to be bolder in terms of increasing investment focus onto sustainable transport modes and networks which will be essential to achieve other strategic aims – particularly making Greater Manchester net carbon neutral by 2038.

We have outlined in our submission where we believe that the P4E plan is unsound with respect to enabling the delivery of sustainable development as required by the NPPF and does not conform with the actions required to meet Greater Manchester’s target of becoming a carbon neutral city-region by 2038.  It is essential that the P4E plan faces up to the climate and nature emergencies with strong policies to cut carbon emissions and enhance nature and access to green space for everyone.

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