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It's Back: The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Makes A Shy Return

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

The much-delayed Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has returned.

After months of dormancy, and six years of on-off preparation, the plan designed to deliver 26.5M SF of new commercial floorspace and 201,000 new homes, has returned for another round of consultation.

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.

The last consultation closed in March 2019.

The spatial framework announcement was made in passing in the course of a press statement about the new Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

“November will see the final stage of public consultation on Greater Manchester’s plan for homes, jobs and the environment — the Spatial Framework,” the statement said, slightly renaming the plan for its latest public outing.

Spatial framework documents can be found here.

The clean air plan will involve more cycling and walking, and a reduction in road traffic. The December 2019 draft envisaged a daily charge for vehicle access ranging from £7.50 for private hire cars to £100 for an HGV vehicle. 

The latest revision in July 2020 reduced the charge for HGVs and buses from £100 per day to £60, an increase in the charge levels for LGV and minibuses from £7.50 to £10.

Government has already committed £41M to support Greater Manchester businesses as they upgrade to cleaner commercial vehicles. There are also proposals to raise another £100M and to create a £10M hardship fund for those businesses most affected by the new zone.