The ten councils in Greater Manchester are consulting the public on plans to work together to support significant levels of housing and employment growth.
Leaders of the ten authorities agree that increasingly they think and act as a single economic entity, with a single labour market and interdependent towns and cities, transport, culture, education and public services.
They also recognise their role as a regional capital providing employment for those living far beyond the boundaries of the ten.
Since January 2014, experts have been working on a spatial framework to identify future housing and land requirements.
And now – because of the scale and distribution of development, - they have recognised they need to work together to produce a statutory joint Development Plan Document to manage the supply of land in Greater Manchester over the next 20 years.
This will give Greater Manchester an overarching plan within which the ten local authorities identify and make available land to deliver ambitious strategic priorities.
The multi-council plan is believed to be the first of its type in the country and will link appropriately to the 10 councils’ own local plans.
Months of research by planning and housing experts has already identified the scale and type of growth that the councils believe they should be planning for.
And council leaders have now agreed there will be a public consultation scheduled to start today (Friday September 26) on the evidence base that has been gathered so far .
Greater Manchester lead Chief Executive on planning and housing Eamonn Boylan said: “We need to use this evidence to underpin a strategic discussion in Greater Manchester on how we manage our land supply to meet our aspirations for housing and employment growth . “ We need to go beyond the numbers game to discuss the sort of housing we need, and how that housing will help GM keep and attract the skilled people we will need and the businesses which will provide future jobs.”
The consultation will test the evidence base that has been developed so far and help to guide the next steps of the proposed statutory joint Development Plan Document for Greater Manchester.
Said Mr Boylan: “This is a radical step and reflects our ambition for Greater Manchester to manage the challenge of growth across all 10 authorities in a coherent way. Our work is underpinned by a shared ambition to increase the prosperity of the people of Greater Manchester. “Our regional centre provides employment for those living far beyond our boundaries, and the challenge and opportunity is to achieve the benefits of a larger market that greater connectivity can bring”.
Mark Robinson, Head of Planning at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We always cooperate with our neighbouring authorities on strategic planning matters which overlap Borough boundaries. These include how we can best manage the supply of housing and employment land. The Council’s emerging Core Strategy document sets out our ambitions to transform the Borough over the next 15 years into a thriving and prosperous place where people will want to live, work and do business by improving the range and quality of housing and employment opportunities for residents. In doing this, Rochdale Borough can contribute to, and benefit from, the success of Greater Manchester. “
The consultation will run for six weeks at www.agma.gov.uk and more details can be found at Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
Over the following 12 months, options will be developed for the draft DPD and with full consultation planned in 2016, before publication in 2017.
Leaders have also recently agreed to establish a Greater Manchester housing delivery agency to deal with management of public sector land and negotiation with Government over future funding. This agency will seek to support individual authorities in delivering key priorities and may, over time, become a developer of homes in its own right. The new plan will ensure that Greater Manchester has the supply of land to meet these ambitious targets for growth over the long term.
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