Greater Manchester's plan for homes, jobs and the environment

Up until December 2020 the ten Greater Manchester local authorities were working on a joint development plan document known as Greater Manchester’s Plan for Jobs, Homes & the Environment (known as the “GMSF”).  This had reached its Regulation 19 (Publication) stage of the process, but Stockport Council’s decision to withdraw from the plan signalled the end of the GMSF.  Work has however continued to prepare a plan for the remaining districts now called “Places for Everyone”.

Places for Everyone

Places for Everyone is a long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth. It has been prepared by the GMCA on behalf of the nine districts.

The plan determines the kind of development that will take place across the city-region, maximising the use of brownfield land and urban spaces while protecting green belt land from the risk of unplanned development.

It ensures that all new developments are sustainably integrated into Greater Manchester’s transport network or are supported by new infrastructure.

The plan is the result of a process that began with the publication of the first Greater Manchester Spatial Framework in 2016 and has been informed by the feedback received from residents, businesses and the development industry.

While the PfE sets out the strategy and policies to guide sustainable growth it also allocates sites for development across Greater Manchester.

Update - March 2024

On 13th March 2024 Bolton Council approved the formal adoption of the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan, with effect from 21 March 2024. View details of the council meeting.

Places for Everyone replaces some, but not all, Core Strategy policies. Details on which Core Strategy policies are being replaced can be found in Appendix A (Table A.1) of the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan. 

As a result of Places for Everyone's adoption, Bolton’s existing Policies Map will be modified to show the re-designation of three areas of Green Belt for employment at Bewshill Farm, Chequerbent North and land at West of Wingates.  Additional Green Belt has been designated at Horwich Golf Course; its planning status changing from Protected Open Land. Until this map has been updated please refer to the adopted Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan for detailed boundaries of these sites.

The adopted Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan, Policies Map, Integrated Assessment Adoption Statement and the Integrated Assessment Documentation can all be viewed at Adoption - Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

View the Bolton Council Adoption Statement.

These documents can all be viewed electronically at the four deposit locations in the borough at: Bolton Town Hall One-Stop-Shop, Central Library, Horwich Library, Westhoughton Library, or from any location with internet access.

Any person aggrieved by the adoption of Places for Everyone may make an application to the High Court under Section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 on the grounds that:

a.) the document is not within the appropriate power

b.) a procedural requirement has not been complied with.

Any such application to the High Court must be made before the end of the period of six weeks beginning with the day after the relevant date, which is the day after the adoption of Places for Everyone takes effect, (i.e. from 22 March 2024 to no later than 2 May 2024). 

Update on Plan Preparation - February 2024

Publication of the Inspectors’ Report (Regulation 25)

On behalf of the nine Places for Everyone authorities, the GMCA has published the report and recommendations of the independent Inspectors appointed to carry out the examination of the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document for Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

The Inspectors’ Report, received on 14th February 2024, marks the end the examination into the plan which included public hearing sessions which took place between 1 November 2022 and 5 July 2023. The report sets out the findings of the examination of the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document (PfE). The Inspectors conclude that all legal requirements have been met and that with the recommended main modifications set out in the Appendix of their report, the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document for Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan satisfies the requirements referred to in Section 20(5)(a) of the 2004 Act and is sound.

The next step is for all nine Places for Everyone Councils to consider the Inspectors’ recommendations and adoption of the Plan. Currently it is anticipated that these Council meetings will be held between 28 February and 20 March 2024. Full details of the Bolton Council meeting on 13th March will be available in due course.

The Inspectors’ Report can be viewed here: Places For Everyone - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (

The report can be viewed electronically at the four deposit locations in the borough at:  Bolton Town Hall One-Stop-Shop, Central Library, Horwich and Westhoughton, or from any location with internet access.  

Previous Stages of Plan Preparation

October 2023-December 2023: Main Modifications

Following close of the examination hearings the inspectors recommended main modifications to ensure the plan was sound and legally compliant.

A Main Modifications Schedule, Schedule of Policies Map Changes and Composite Plan were all prepared.  Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment of the Main Modifications were carried out.

The proposed modifications were then subject to consultation for 8 weeks with representations invited between 11 October 2023 and 6 December 2023.

A schedule of additional modifications was also prepared and was subject to consultation.  These do not materially affect the policies in the Plan and as they do not fall within the scope of the examination the Inspectors did not consider comments on them. Instead, the nine PfE authorities considered comments relating to the additional modifications.

To view details of this main modifications consultation stage please visit the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s website.

The most significant modifications about Bolton sites proposed in the submitted 2021 plan were the deletion of the proposed Green Belt addition at Ditchers Farm and modification of the Horwich Golf Course addition to exclude the part where planning permission has been granted for housing. 

Following the conclusion of the consultation, the representations received were forwarded to the examination Programme Officers along with a report listing all of the representations; a summary of the main issues raised; and a brief response, on behalf of the nine districts, to those main issues.  Full details of the representations made and the GMCAs response can be found on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority's Website.

The Inspectors have now considered all the representations made on the Proposed Main Modifications and finalised the examination report and the schedule of recommended main modifications. No further hearing sessions were deemed necessary by the Inspectors.

November 2022 - July 2023: Examination Hearings (Regulation 24)

The Secretary of State appointed three inspectors to carry out independent examination of the plan and the hearings commenced on Tuesday 1 November 2022 and ran until Wednesday 5 July 2023.

Further details of the Examination, its documentation and the hearings that took place are provided on the examination webpage.

February 2022: Submission of Places for Everyone for independent examination

Nine councils in Greater Manchester submitted the Places for Everyone plan to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 14 February 2022 for its public examination. The plan was submitted together with all the supporting documents, background evidence, and representations received during the final stage of public consultation, which took place from 9 August to 3 October 2021.

The submission documents are available to view on the GMCA Places for Everyone webpages.