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Getting Ridiculous? A Fifth Delay For Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has been delayed again, the fifth delay to the publication of a second draft since the first draft was junked following the victory of Andy Burnham in the mayoral election of May 2017.

The latest rethink comes as the government insists the city's 10 local councils ignore new official figures which suggest the city will need several thousand fewer new homes than had been thought, due to reduced population projections.

Burnham and the 10 local council leaders will now have to rewrite the draft to include housing sites they had spent the summer removing from the plan, the Manchester Evening News reports.

In a statement the Greater Manchester Combined Authority said they hoped to publish the redraft "within the next couple of months".

The original draft sparked outrage with plans to take 11,000 acres out of the Greater Manchester green belt, and to create up to 24M SF of new commercial floorspace. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett was put in charge of the re-think.

Publication was pushed from spring 2018 back to July 2018, to allow local elections to take place without the shadow of the controversial plan hanging over them. They were then delayed again until October to allow new population estimates to be included.

Concern is mounting that the plan could be delayed again if it threatens to overshadow the May 2019 local elections, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The Spatial Framework may be trapped in a holding position, but a separate industrial policy document is almost airborne. In a separate development, Business Secretary Greg Clarke and Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor Richard Leese say progress has been made on creating a new Greater Manchester Industrial Strategy. The document will focus on boosting the city's digital cluster.