Here is Steady State Manchester’s response to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s strategic spatial plan: Places for Everyone, formerly the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
We have assessed the plan on the basis of its soundness (for the criteria set out in National Planning Guidance, see the previous post) and concluded that it does not meet those tests. Our submission focusses on the Integrated Assessment (including the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Health Impact Assessment), carbon consequences of the proposed building boom, growth assumptions and specific comments on Industry (Port Salford, Manchester Airport, Offices and the Rural Economy), and Housing Need.
We identify faulty assumptions and reasoning and subject the evidence submitted for the above areas to scrutiny.
Other citizens and groups are encouraged to endorse our points but please do add further points of your own.
We do believe that a a strategic plan is necessary for our region to provide a vision to guide policy and development and to protect our spaces against speculative development by powerful developer companies and interests. Without an adequate set of Local Plans (Places for Everyone covers the strategic, cross council elements of this), developers have a free hand since the planning system and its appeals default to their proposals in the absence of a clear local policy framework. We also believe it is essential to improve the region’s housing stock, by deep retrofit and by judicious construction of new homes. However, Places for Everyone proposes to grossly over-supply housing that will not necessarily meet the needs of the most deprived sectors. Our submission, like that of other groups, demonstrates that it is not necessary to build on the green belt to meet the likely housing need.