Places for Everyone? The new GM Spatial Framework

The final consultation draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is now out. It is now called “Places for Everyone” (P4E below). Consultation closes on 23 October.

The image GMCA have used to illustrate P4E’s vision!

P4E is little changed from the previous versions that appeared in 2018 and 2020. However, Stockport council voted not to be part of the plan, so P4E just covers the other nine councils of Greater Manchester.

P4E is the Strategic Plan for those local authorities, taking on the strategic element of their “Local Plans” (a misnomer from the National Planning Framework which governs the approach).

We are currently working through the plan and have already spotted a number of serious problems with it. Broadly, we think the plan bakes in an unsustainable economic model for the city region, fails to take serious account of the climate emergency, and makes questionable assumptions about the need for additional land for housing and commercial activity. By early September we will publish a response guide for environmentalists and social justice campaigners to help inform their own responses.

The consultation at this stage is a formal one. Greater Manchester Combined Authority say:

The Publication Plan is the plan that the nine local authorities consider to be the plan they intend to submit to the Secretary of State for examination. This is a formal stage of consultation and at this stage of consultation we are asking you whether you think the Places for Everyone plan meets the ‘tests of soundness’. 
The term ‘sound’ is used to describe a Local Plan that has been prepared in accordance with what Government expects of local planning authorities.

The tests of soundness can be found in the National Planning Framework publication, page 12. They do provide significant scope for questioning the assumptions and methodology of the plan. So watch this space for more information.

Meanwhile you can access the plan, the consultation, and the enormous library of background papers, HERE.

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