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 will determine the kind of development that takes 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 will also ensure all new developments are sustainably integrated into Greater Manchester’s transport network or 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 proposes to allocate sites for development across Greater Manchester, which are currently Green Belt.  In Bolton three sites are proposed for employment uses.  Further details on these can be found in the Allocation Topic Papers.

The three sites are:

  • JPA4 Bewshill Farm (5.6 ha)
  • JPA5 Chequerbent North (16.3 ha)
  • JPA6 West of Wingates (184.3 ha)

The plan also proposes two green belt additions in Bolton.  These are at Horwich Golf Club (24.1 ha) and Ditcher’s Farm, Westhoughton (41.3ha).

Submission of Places for Everyone for independent examination

Nine councils in Greater Manchester have now submitted the Places for Everyone plan to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The plan has been 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.

Independent Inspectors will now be appointed to undertake an independent examination into the plan.

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

Please note that no Modifications were considered necessary prior to Submission, therefore the Submission Plan remains unchanged from that published under Reg 19 in August 2021.

Notice of Examination Hearings (Regulation 24)

The Secretary of State has appointed three inspectors to carry out independent examination of the plan and the hearings will commence on Tuesday 1 November 2022 at 9:30am. They are expected to run until Thursday 30 March 2023.

Hearings are to take place at the former Manchester Fire and Rescue Training Centre, Cassidy Close, Manchester M4 5HU.

Further details of the Examination and any changes to the proposed hearings programme are provided on the examination webpage.

All queries regarding the examination should be directed to the Programme Officers Helen Wilson or Yvonne Parker.

The Regulation 24 Statement link below provides full details.

Notice of Examination Hearings (Regulation 24) - Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Main Modifications

The examination hearings have now concluded and the inspectors have recommended main modifications to ensure the plan is sound and legally compliant.

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

The proposed modifications are now subject to consultation which runs for 8 weeks.  Representations are invited between 11 October 2023 and 6 December 2023.

Please note this consultation only relates to the Proposed Modifications to the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document Submission Version 2021 – 2037, relevant supporting documentation and the Policy Map changes. Representations relating to aspects of the Plan that are not proposed for modification will not be considered by the Inspectors.

A schedule of additional modifications has also been prepared and is 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 will not consider comments on them. Instead, the nine PfE authorities will consider comments relating to the additional modifications.

To view all the documents, more detailed guidance and the various ways to respond to the consultation please visit the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s website.

In respect of the sites proposed in Bolton in the submitted 2021 plan, the most significant modifications are 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 will be forwarded to the examination Programme Officer(s) 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. The Inspectors will then consider all the representations made on the Proposed Main Modifications before finalising the examination report and the schedule of recommended main modifications. Further hearing sessions will not usually be held, unless the Inspectors consider them essential to deal with any substantial issues that may have been raised in the representations, or to ensure fairness. Further consultation may or may not be necessary.

If the Inspectors consider no further consultation is necessary following the modifications’ consultation, the ultimate decision to adopt Places for Everyone will then need to be taken by each of the Full Councils of the nine participating local authorities.