THERE could be a back-track on plans to build thousands of homes across Oldham as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has been delayed to be revised.
The GMSF is Greater Manchester’s plan to solve the housing crisis and realise the city’s economic vision by delivering homes and jobs over the next 20 years.
Initial proposals sought to build 225,000 homes in Greater Manchester, with approximately 13,500 across Oldham and many of those earmarked in Royton, Shaw, High Crompton, Oldham East and Saddleworth.
But leaders of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority agreed at their June meeting that the consultation should be delayed and reassessed.
This came after official population estimates showed slower projected growth in Greater Manchester’s population, meaning there will be lower household growth projections when the figures are released in September.
The updated draft GMSF will be reported to the October GMCA meeting for approval before a 12-week consultation period.
After the consultation, further work will take place on the plan before a new draft goes before the GMCA for approval and another consultation period takes place next year.
This plan will then be approved by the Combined Authority for submission to the secretary of state for housing communities and local government towards the end of 2019 or start of 2020.
Paul Dennett, Greater Manchester’s lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, said: “The Spatial Framework is our chance to provide the homes and jobs we need to make sure everyone can grow up, get on and get old.
“We are determined to get this plan right for everyone and while delaying the plan was not an easy decision, it was the right one.
“The new timetable will give us the opportunity to make sure we are using the most up-to-date information and plan for the right number of homes for the city-region.”
All local authorities are required to have a local plan and the GMSF will provide the strategic context for the local plans of the 10 districts in the city-region.
Locally, the plans have been met with much opposition, including the formation of ‘Save Shaw’s Greenbelt’ group.
When initial proposals for development were released earlier this year, they collected 1,293 signed letters of objection which they delivered to Manchester Town Hall.
The Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council is also preparing to save local greenbelt from development.
In their newsletter to local residents, they say: “The Liberal Democrats recognise we shall need more homes, including affordable homes for first-time buyers and renters and homes for people living independently with disabilities.
“But our greenbelt is irreplaceable so we will continue to oppose any plans to build there when there are unused brownfield sites that can be built on and empty mills which can be converted into residential accommodation.
“We also want to see big improvements to our roads, public transport and amenities to cope with the extra demands that more housing will bring.”
More information about the GMSF can be found online at: www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/GMSF