A number of sites on green belt land in Bury were originally earmarked for development in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).
Greater Manchester’s Labour Mayor, Andy Burnham, promised a radical rewrite of the GMSF after intense opposition from many of us to these plans.
I strongly supported this rewrite and have been working closely with Bury Council and Andy Burnham since becoming your MP to protect as much green belt land as possible in Bury.
Watch my speech in Parliament (also below)
The GMSF is a requirement by central government on local authorities to deliver housebuilding numbers against government targets. I welcomed the recent independent analysis which found these targets to be unrealistic and far exceeding expected housing demand in Greater Manchester. There have been numerous delays to the GMSF plan whilst I and other local MPs, council leaders and the Mayor have been pressuring the Government to accept these lower numbers to save as much of our green belt possible.
The Government is refusing to budge and is trying to force councils like ours to give up green belt land with no consideration of community impact or commitment to fund new infrastructure.
We need housing, but we must protect Bury’s green belt land. It’s why I have consistently called for a brownfield first approach. And why, with Bury having the lowest proportion of brownfield land in GM, I’ve demanded the government reflect this in our targets. But developers and their supporters in Government aren’t listening.
Fortunately, Bury Council and Mayor Andy Burnham agree with me and we’ve renewed efforts to identify brownfield sites to replace green belt first. It’s my hope that this focus on brownfield sites can lead to a significant reduction in the green belt land we’re forced to give up in Bury.
Rest assured that your Labour team and I will keep fighting to protect as much of our green belt as possible and we’ll update you with our progress and changes in the months ahead.
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