GM Spatial Framework and Oldham Local Plan

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

balance-of-developmentA summary of my response to the 2016/17 consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is available to download here;

Covering Letter

Policy response

Site response

 

A summary of my submission is as follows

  • I recognise the need for and support the development of the GMSF (Greater Manchester Strategic Framework), to provide long term planning on housing, employment, transport and public service infrastructure across Greater Manchester. As the city region receives further devolved powers from government this will become even more important
  • The evidence base for housing growth supports an aggressive growth strategy which the GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) may feel is desirable, but is not essential to meet housing demand and is unlikely to deliver balanced growth
  • The evidence base adopted to inform growth isn’t robust, nor does it provide an accurate forecast of likely growth in population and housing numbers.
  • Oldham meets its assessed housing supply needs in line with DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) projections without the need to develop Greenbelt land, or other protected open space
  • The proposals represent a significant overdevelopment of the north of the borough of Oldham which will damage the character of many neighbourhoods
  • There is an absence of meaningful proposals to redevelop Brownfield sites and to redevelop existing neighbourhoods and employment sites
  • Oldham and Rochdale are already providing a ‘fair share’ of industrial land in that they provide a quarter of existing industrial land supply for the whole of Greater Manchester
  • That the plan should be subject to a vote by each council (Full Council) prior to a vote taking place by the members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and before submission to the Secretary of State

Local Plan

In addition to the GMSF the council has begun consultation of the development of the Local Plan. The first stage consultation closed on 21st August 2017 and my response is here;

A summary of my submission is as follows

What should it contain and what are the key planning issues for Oldham?

  • The development of a Brownfield first policy underpinned by an accurate and up to date Brownfield register
  • To identify additional public open space and amenity land which adds to the character of local neighbourhood and afford these greater protection from inappropriate development
  • To address inappropriate town centre development and uses through an Article 4 directive as agreed by the council in 2013, and that this be expanded to district centres
  • To address the community impact of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and bring forward a policy to restrict them, particularly in established residential areas
  • To address community concern about the reuse of former care homes, hostels and other purpose built residential accommodation and to afford these greater protection from inappropriate development
  • To address the poor quality design and finish of residential and commercial development
  • To assess and promote the preservation and future development of important buildings of heritage value including an assessment of the remaining mills

What, in broad terms, should be the main aims of the Local Plan?

  • To develop a community lead development plan for the future of the borough
  • To promote high quality sustainable development
  • To support the long term development of town and district centres
  • To commit to the protection of the Greenbelt
  • To assist in the regeneration of the borough with the identification of brownfield land
  • To promote high quality sustainable strategic and neighbourhood transport links
  • To boost job creation and retention in appropriate locations
  • To respect and enhance the heritage assets of the borough
  • To support the environmental and recreational benefits of key off road routes including disused railway lines, canals, country parks and liner parks
  • To ensure that development can be supported by infrastructure including but not limited to sewage, drainage, power and highways
  • To ensure that development is supported by essential public services including but not limited to schools, health centres and emergency services.

Finally, I suggested in my submission to the GMSF that the development of Neighbourhood Plans would enable local people to co-produce a development plan for their area.

I would continue to urge the council to consider the development of Neighbourhood Plans across the borough.

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