Greater Manchester leaders will meet to set out a timeline for the final public consultation phase on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, a wide-ranging plan for homes, jobs and the environment for the entire city-region.
After a first draft was published in 2016, the framework has twice been reviewed in response to public concerns, in 2016 and again in 2019. The final consultation had been scheduled to take place early this year, but has been delayed due to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.
Leaders of Greater Manchester’s 10 councils will set out a new timeline, which will be considered by local authorities for approval during October. Should all boroughs agree to the proposals, a public consultation of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework will take place from November 2020 for eight weeks. The evidence base for the plan will be published around four weeks ahead of the formal consultation period, allowing people to view and familiarise themselves with the content.
A Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) spokesperson said:
This timetable sets out a clear path for the final phase of Greater Manchester’s plan for homes, jobs and the environment – the Spatial Framework.
“The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework will create the space for Greater Manchester to deliver its ambitious growth plans over the next two decades – space for thousands of new jobs and the right homes in the right places, so that everyone can live in well-connected and environmentally sustainable villages, towns and cities.
“The plan – which has already been shaped by two extensive rounds of public consultation – will now be scrutinised by elected members from all 10 boroughs. If approved, residents across Greater Manchester will be able to assess the evidence and decide whether the plan is ready for submission to Government.”
In light of the pandemic and to ensure the highest safety standards, work is ongoing to facilitate a range of engagement methods to allow residents to view all consultation documents and offer their responses. These could include virtual exhibitions, digital consultations, video meetings and social media or online chat facilities. Alongside this, work is also underway to ensure people who do not have internet access are able to engage with the consultation through alternative means.
As well as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, Greater Manchester residents will also have the chance this year to input into key elements of the city-region’s Clean Air Plan, and the plan to set minimum licensing standards for taxis and private hire vehicles. Together, the three consultations support a clear vision to accelerate Greater Manchester’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2038 and build back cleaner and greener.
After the final consultation, proposals will be submitted to government for approval in 2021, with the plan expected to be adopted by GMCA in 2022.