GMSF delay is an opportunity
The prospect of further delay to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is an opportunity to align the spatial plan with the numerous more ambitious strategies that Greater Manchester is supporting, according to a coalition of developers.
The GM Local Industrial Strategy, GM Housing Strategy and Northern Powerhouse Strategy, together with ongoing calls for greater devolution and increased funds, all set an ambitious direction of travel for GM under the leadership of Mayor Andy Burnham.
Despite the emergence of these strategies, the most recent version of the GMSF took a backwards step, by planning for the minimum possible number of homes, and in doing so, walking away from its £68 million housing deal in order to minimise Green Belt release.
With it being reported that the next version of the GMSF will be delayed until after May 2020, a window of opportunity has opened up to realign the emerging spatial plan with the GM Local Industrial Strategy in particular and to negotiate a new housing deal for GM, involving greater funding in exchange for a more ambitious housebuilding plan.
Housing the Powerhouse spokesman Rob Loughenbury said:
“Greater Manchester clearly now needs an ambitious spatial plan to match its ambitious industrial strategy. The prospect of another delay to the GMSF is frustrating, but it provides the opportunity to align the plan with everything else that Greater Manchester is doing and to negotiate a better housing deal with Government.
“Providing enough good homes, of the right kind and in the right places, is essential to improving productivity and attracting and retaining a skilled workforce in areas such as advanced manufacturing and healthcare. We remain supportive of seeing the best possible GMSF in place as soon as possible.”
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