The following statement was made by Deputy Mayor Paul Dennett, Greater Manchester Lead for the Places for Everyone plan, at the opening session of the Examination in Public today (Tuesday 1 November 2022)
I am pleased to welcome everyone to the hearing sessions of the examination in public into Greater Manchester’s spatial plan for jobs, homes and the environment: Places for Everyone.
In this time of national uncertainty, socially and economically, Greater Manchester continues to take the initiative to give people, communities and businesses hope and confidence for the future.
We have a bold and ambitious vision for our city-region. Our Greater Manchester Strategy sets out the place we want Greater Manchester to be - where everyone can live a good life, growing up, getting on and growing old in a greener, fairer, and more prosperous city-region.
In each generation Greater Manchester has matched economic progress with social advancement. We are a place that has delivered industrial innovations but never forgotten the people who power the economy. Greater Manchester was the beating heart of the industrial revolution, the birthplace of everything from commuting to the computer. But these innovations are matched with social progress in the Trades Union Congress, the suffragettes and the cooperative movement. This radical spirit is central to Greater Manchester’s identity
Our focus is on growth, investment and the reform of public services in order to ensure that everyone here is supported to achieve their potential and that nobody is left behind. We will do this by working in partnership with our communities, public services, the voluntary sector and businesses.
We are already making great strides in implementing this vision, for example:
- Our determined effort to tackle the problems of rough sleeping is already beginning to have an impact, including via the Bed Every Night campaign and initiative
- The new Police and Crime Plan focuses on the importance of safety and security of people, places and businesses, and their role in promoting and enabling wellbeing across the board
- We are investing in the UK’s largest joined-up cycling and walking network, the Bee Network, enabling people to travel actively in their community and revolutionising how journeys are made, including the work already well under way to franchise our buses here in Greater Manchester
- We're also reducing the amount of time people have to stay in hospital by better supporting people in their homes and their communities
- We're rethinking support for older people. The World Health Organisation recently designated Greater Manchester the UK’s first age-friendly city-region
- We are part of the prestigious 100 Resilient Cities Network and have developed a Resilience Strategy for the city-region
- We have invested in a multi-million-pound Business Productivity and Inclusive Growth Programme which will support Greater Manchester employers to raise their productivity and create high-quality jobs, and we have also launched our Good Employment Charter to improve standards across Greater Manchester employers.
- We launched the Five-Year Environment Plan in March 2019, during the Green Summit
Within this context, the need for a bold spatial plan to provide certainty and guide development, investment and infrastructure has never been stronger. We need a plan that strengthens our economy and our society against future challenges and puts us in the best position to take advantage of new opportunities.
We all share the same priorities: we want to see better homes, better jobs, and better transport for everyone in our boroughs; we want to make the best use of brownfield land while protecting greenspaces including Green Belt land, from unplanned development; we want development to happen in places where we want it, supported by necessary infrastructure and not dictated by planning appeals.
We are seeking to meet the local housing need for the nine districts collectively and to provide opportunities for employment across the whole of the plan area.
We believe now is the time to be moving forward with as a city-region with an ambitious vision focused on the delivery of good-quality affordable homes, creating good jobs, and boosting our transition to the low-carbon economy.
This plan, the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan Councils, is at the heart of our proposals to improve employment opportunities for our communities, build the right homes in the right places, rejuvenate green spaces and reshape our town centres.
As a long-term plan for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth, it will enable us to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic in a way which helps us tackle the inequality experienced by so many of our communities.
The policy framework set out in the Places for Everyone plan seeks to ensure that all new developments are sustainably integrated into Greater Manchester’s transport network or joined by new infrastructure. It has been developed alongside Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Five-Year Transport Delivery Plan, ensuring that new residential and commercial sites are supported by good transport infrastructure, including Metrolink stops and active travel routes.
The policies in the Plan seek to increase biodiversity, net zero carbon new development, homes built to the nationally described space standards and designed to be accessible and adaptable to enable people to stay in their homes and their communities throughout their lifetime and as their circumstances change.
The Plan is one of the key delivery mechanisms to deliver the ambitions of the Five-Year Environment Plan, particularly in relation to the contribution that new build development can make towards our long-term environmental vision: to be carbon neutral as a city-region by 2038
This Plan has been a long time in the making. It has weathered many storms, political leadership challenges both locally and nationally, Government policy changes, and perhaps most significantly the withdrawal of Stockport from the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework in December 2020. The reasons why the nine districts have persevered with the Plan is that we consider that the ‘prize’ of having an up-to-date local plan in place is worth striving for.
This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. It will help us build a better future for everyone in our boroughs and across Greater Manchester.
Article Published: 01/11/2022 14:51 PM