Delayed Greater Manchester framework to go out for consultation 'in January'

A revised draft of Greater Manchester's emerging spatial plan will be published for consultation in January, the body tasked with producing the document has announced.

Manchester: city region spatial framework to go out for consultation in new year
Manchester: city region spatial framework to go out for consultation in new year

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) met last week and agreed that the document will proceed to consultation in January.

In October, the body said work on the document could not proceed until the government published details on how it proposed to adjust its new standard method for calculating housing need. A government consultation on this is currently underway.

In a statement, Salford city mayor and Greater Manchester lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, Paul Dennett, said that despite some uncertainty on the outcome of the consultation, the the GMCA anticipated "going live with the next phase of the spatial framework in mid- to late-January next year".

Dennett added that, following the first phase of consultation, the GMCA would then consider the responses and look to consult again in the summer of 2019.

He said that before the second consultation, the revised document would be "taken to all the local authorities and councils within the city-region for discussion, debate and ultimately sign-off".

The spatial framework has suffered a series of delays in its development. A draft version of the revised GMSF, earmarking sites for 225,000 new homes and including plans to remove 4,900 hectares of green belt land for housing, had been published for consultation in autumn 2016.

At the time, the GMCA said its intention was to consult on a "publication plan" in summer 2017, with submission to the secretary of state at the end of 2017 and adoption in 2018.

However, in May 2017, Andy Burnham, who had campaigned against the extent of green belt release in the draft plan and had pledged to re-write the document, was elected Greater Manchester's first mayor.

In August 2017, the GMCA said that a second draft of the plan would be developed in the new year, "with a view to publish it in June 2018".

Then in July this year, the GMCA said that the publication and consultation on the GMSF would be delayed until October 2018, following the publication of new official population projections.

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