Greater Manchester seeks views on spatial plan

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, which sets out the region’s plan for land development over the next 20 years and includes new targets to cut emissions, is open for public consultation.

The spatial framework will guide how and where homes, workplaces and new transport infrastructure will be developed across the region between 2015 and 2035.

It is estimated that some 227,000 new homes and 200,000 new jobs will be required to sustain its growing population in this time.

Notably, the plan earmarks the first substantial changes to the green belt since the last major review in 1984.

New business space

Included in the plan is allocation for around 4 million m2 of new industrial and warehousing floorspace and 2.4 million m2 of new office floorspace to be developed between 2015 and 2035.

Key strategic locations include the main town centres across the conurbation and several ‘gateway’ areas that have been earmarked for development.

Greener growth

One of the key themes in the framework is to ensure high environmental standards for new developments and resilience in the face of climate change. 

It therefore sets out plans for more sustainable transport options, more energy efficient buildings, improved air quality, reduced flood risk and a 60 per cent cut in carbon emissions against 1990 levels by 2035. 

The new target supplements Greater Manchester’s existing objective to deliver a 48 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020. Emissions have already decreased by 36 per cent since 1990.

Planned measures

Although the plan recognises that “new development will increase the demand for energy and could increase carbon emissions”, it adds: “New development can also enable new public transport investment, support the establishment of new energy centres and decentralised heat infrastructure and is an opportunity to deliver high standards of energy efficiency through good design”.

A range of new measures will be introduced to help achieve these objectives, including:

  • Major improvements to walking, cycling, public transport and sustainable freight networks, including the use of integrated ticketing for public transport
  • Reducing the use of polluting vehicles, potentially through the introduction of Clean Air Zones in the areas with the lowest air quality
  • Stimulating the uptake of low emission vehicles, including through a significant increase in the provision of electric vehicle chargepoints
  • Requiring new developments to include a detailed carbon assessment to minimise energy demand, maximise energy efficiency and utilise low carbon energy where possible
  • Implementing programmes to retrofit existing building stock and deliver decentralised heating and cooling networks in strategic locations.

Have your say

The draft spatial framework is open for consultation until 16 January 2017. Views submitted will be considered and a final draft will be published in 2017 when another period of consultation will be held.

Posted under General Interest, Environmental Regulations and Legislation and Public / Government / Charity on 29 November 2016