On November 25th, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is due to be voted on at a special meeting of Bury Council. Our position on this could not be clearer: Bury Labour's GMSF plan is bad for Bury, and we will vote against it to protect our green spaces.
The final draft of the GMSF proposes a net reduction of over 1,250 acres of our green belt, whilst leaving brownfield sites untouched that could be perfect for regeneration. Our commitment from the local elections remains the same: if the GMSF contains a single acre of green belt use in Bury, we will vote against it, and a Conservative-led council would veto the GMSF next May.
Following delay upon delay, councillors finally now have access to the publication version of the GMSF, and it's clear that our concerns have not been listened to. In just one month's time, your local councillors will have to make the biggest planning decision of a generation.
Green-belt allocations like the ones proposed of 3,500 houses on Elton Reservoir, 1,250 houses in Walshaw, and 1,350 in Simister and Bowlee are vastly out-of-scale for our towns and communities. Bury needs new housing, but it needs to be the right kind: less four and five bed detached executive homes, and instead more of the houses that the people of Bury need.
We want to see a Bury where our green spaces are protected, and we regenerate our brownfield sites to build new houses instead. We want to see a Bury where we uplift our communities without losing what we hold dear. But we can't do it alone. If Bury Labour decide to back Andy Burnham's plan, then all is lost: we need cross-party consensus to stop the GMSF in Bury and save our green belt for generations to come. You can help us by writing to your local councillor and making your views heard.
Here's our key points for why we think we need to stop the GMSF:
- Bury's green spaces are a huge part of what makes our borough so special - let's keep it that way
- There are brown-field sites in need of regeneration: let's use those first before committing our green belt. Once we use it, we lose it
- Developments like those in Elton, Walshaw, and Simister are hugely out of proportion for their existing communities
- The planned infrastructure to support this new development isn't enough - our already-neglected roads can't handle existing traffic volumes, let alone new ones
- This decision has consequences for generations to come: it needs time for councillors to give it the proper scrutiny it deserves.
In addition, you can take our GMSF survey below and make your views be heard: