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Greater Manchester Spatial Framework: Stuck At The Junction?


Plans for a 1M SF industrial and logistics development at Bredbury could scupper the entire Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

After seven years of effort, and three complete rewrites, the future of the plan is unclear as Stockport council proposes, and Tameside council opposes, the plan for logistics development on a site close to junction 25 of the M60 Manchester orbital motorway.

If the dispute over the site cannot be agreed, meaning the wider spatial framework plan does not get the unanimous backing of all 10 Manchester councils, then it cannot proceed. Emergency talks are underway.

The dispute over the Bredbury site hinges on the traffic capacity of the M60 junctions 25 and 26, the 'Bredbury scissors', so-called due to their unusual shape.

“Our plan for homes, jobs and the environment, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, is currently being finalised and will be published once necessary final changes have been made,” a spokesman for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority said in a statement to Bisnow.

The dispute, reported by the Manchester Evening News, comes shortly after Bisnow revealed that the latest rethought plan was due to be published. Publication has now been delayed. The document was to have been the foundation for economic growth in the city region, and it was claimed as one of the major benefits of the devolution deal that created the role of city region mayor now occupied by Andy Burnham. It is intended to guide development until 2038.

Documents submitted to Manchester City Council’s economic scrutiny committee suggest that the main focus of the document in the regional centre will be expansion of the global logistics hub at Manchester Airport and a growing medical park cluster around Wythenshawe hospital.

A leaked version of the draft report also suggests a reduction in the volume of green belt land identified for development, particularly around Oldham, the Manchester Evening News reported.

The plan nudges down the overall volume of green belt land taken for development compared to the 2019 draft plan. The document now proposes to take 60% less green belt land than in the 2016 draft. The new house-building total also falls from 227,000 in 2016 to 209,000, a slight increase on the 2019 proposal.

Plans to develop Peel’s Port Salford logistics site have been reduced from around 5.4M SF to 3.4M SF, the leaked document reveals.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is intended to deliver 26.5M SF of new commercial floorspace. Several unexpected government interventions have combined with political hesitancy about the plan’s consequences to cause repeated delays and rethinks. At the last count, there had been six major hold-ups.