Conservative councillors in Bury have today announced that they have called in Bury Labour Cabinet's decision to approve the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework ahead of a debate at full council. Under overview and scrutiny rules, eight councillors are required to confirm any decision to call in a cabinet decision, with eight Bury Conservative councillors forming that group.
The item will now go through a further Overview and Scrutiny period, where your councillors will have chance to be able to question the contents of the GMSF further. Giving their reason for the call-in, the eight Bury Conservative councillors said:
Following the Cabinet Meeting in November, I and the 7 Conservative Councillors signed give notice to call-in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework paper.
We believe the Cabinet of Bury Council has got this decision wrong because this does not reflect the view of the residents of Bury. The prosperity of our towns should not be put at risk based on a “gamble” of this magnitude.
More needs to be done to identify suitable brownfield sites to fulfil the housing targets. A Brownfield first approach should be adopted to save the green lungs of Bury.
If the Cabinet believe this is a good deal for Bury, why is the consultation period so short and why has there not been a widespread public awareness campaign to ensure residents know the plans. Further scrutiny is required to explain the current approach.
We firmly believe there needs to be scrutiny of the Cabinet decision to justify why the Council should be taking this gamble that will ensure the destruction of Bury’s greenbelt, not just for the people of today but the children of tomorrow. We believe the greenbelt should be protected for future generations to enjoy just as we have been able to do throughout our lives and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current proposals are no longer fit for purpose, they were drawn up in a pre-covid world. The pandemic has and will have a great impact in how we live and work. Further scrutiny is
needed to review if Bury still requires the proposed Northern Gateway in its current form. Bury in recent years has suffered greatly from flooding which has had a terrible impact on
people’s homes and businesses. The current plans include building in areas which have flooded thus more needs to done to fully understand the impact building houses will have on these communities.
Overall, more scrutiny needs to take place to review plans in detail and for the Cabinet to explain and justify why they believe the GMSF is suitable for Bury.
The Leader of the Council has stated that this is a gamble and that this is not necessarily the right plan for Bury, on this basis further scrutiny of the whole report is required.