A New Plan, a New Challenge?


Source: Derived from Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Draft Report (2016)


Many people will be glad to see the return of larger than local thinking on matters as important as housing supply.

Following the demise of the Regional Spatial Strategy’s in 2010, a vacuum has existed in the planning system and it was widely felt that difficult and controversial, yet nevertheless essential facilities and infrastructure were being put on the back burner.

Fast forward 6 years and the 10 Greater Manchester Councils have got together for the first time to produce a statutory planning document that will aid economic recovery and deliver new house building. We are currently in the midst of a consultation on the draft strategy of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework  which is expected to be adopted and come into force in 2018.

The plan seeks to deliver 227,200 new homes and 26.3m sq ft of office space for new jobs for all 10 local authorities up to 2035, as well as identify strategic sites for development. Whilst that may sound a lot, many commenters have argued that it does not go far enough to deliver the transformational changes required in the region.

Should we be building houses or apartments?

Well according to this planning document, overall, slightly more houses (55-60%) than apartments (40-45%) but the distribution across Greater Manchester varies considerably with Manchester and Salford leading the way with up to 85% of all new homes to be apartments:



Source: Derived from Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Draft Report (2016)


The really controversial part of the plan however has been the earmarking of Green Belt to provide for 63,616 homes on land previously protected from development. The plan’s approach to Green Belt release is to focus on a relatively small number of large sites, the scale of some are set to deliver 4000 homes on individual sites.

This is an area that we have been involved in responding to the plan and no doubt the masterplanning that will be required in delivering some of the new neighbourhoods, will see many Architects and Planners working on over the next 20 years.

What is currently happening?

Now is the time to shape the plan and with the deadline for comments on 23 December 2016. We are currently working on behalf of a number of landowners in responding to the draft planning document. If you have a site that would benefit from inclusion or want assistance in responding to other aspects of the plan, get in touch with us.