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Nine Manchester councils to discuss joint plan

Words: Laura Edgar

Nine councils from across Greater Manchester are set to consider a report this week on whether to form a joint committee to work on a long-term plan for homes, jobs and sustainable growth across their boroughs.

The councils involved are Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan.

The development strategy, called Places for Everyone, would underpin an “ambitious vision” for Greater Manchester, said the councils. They want it to set out the steps needed to strengthen the region's economy, society and environment, as well as build resilience into communities against future challenges.

The strategy would set out that inclusive development can take place in areas already connected by sustainable transport links in order to create homes and jobs. It would also be a “key tool” for Greater Manchester to achieve its goal to be carbon-neutral by 2038.

The Places for Everyone strategy comes after Stockport Council decided to withdraw from the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework last year to produce its own local plan. The nine councils will work with Stockport Council on shared objectives and strategies, such as the 2040 Transport Strategy.

Paul Dennett, city mayor of Salford and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) lead for housing, planning and homelessness, said: “The need to map out sustainable growth and protect against unplanned development hasn’t gone away. In the midst of a public health crisis that has struck hardest in the most disadvantaged places, having a positive and ambitious vision for our city-region is more important than it’s ever been. The best way to do that is with a plan that sets out clearly where good homes and jobs will be created, secures our most important natural assets, and supports our goal of a carbon-neutral future.

“We know that we have to deliver genuinely affordable and good-quality housing across Greater Manchester, bring in new investment, and ensure that people here have access to good jobs in well-connected villages, towns and cities. The extensive work already carried out means that we won’t be starting from scratch, and together our nine councils can get on with bringing forward a new plan that maximises brownfield development and protects green belt as much as is possible.”

The report will be considered on Friday 12 February.

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