Salford Quays generic c Khaleelah Ajibola on Unsplash

Places for Everyone includes strategic sites in Salford, Oldham, Tameside, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Trafford, Manchester, and Rochdale. Credit: Khaleelah Ajibola on Unsplash

Govt signs off Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone

The examination of the spatial framework for nine of the 10 local authorities in the city region has completed. Next, each of the councils will need to vote to adopt the strategy at full council meetings – a process that is anticipated to conclude by 20 March.

Places for Everyone provides a vision for development in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan from now until 2039. It allocates sites for housing, commercial, and industrial uses as well as the release of approximately 5,500 acres of Green Belt – a reduction of 4.1%.

Places for Everyone has been in the works since August 2014. Back then it was known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and included all 10 local authorities. Stockport controversially pulled out of the document in 2020, causing a rework of the strategy. The result was Places for Everyone.

The Planning Inspectorate conducted a public examination of the framework from November 2022 until July last year. Modifications were suggested in August by the inspectors – these then underwent public consultation.

On Valentine’s Day, the inspectors sent a letter formally concluding their investigation, noting that with the approved modifications Places for Everyone is sound and legally compliant. Read their full letter.

Jane Healey Brown, planning and housing commissioner at Greater Manchester Combined Authority and director at Arup, worked closely on crafting the framework. Arup also led the creation of Places For Everyone’s integrated sustainability assessment.

Reflecting on the inspectors’ decision, Healey Brown said: “Congratulations to everyone who contributed over many years to get this plan for Greater Manchester. The vision and direction will provide for the investment and development the city needs for a prosperous future…

“I hope this inspires other combined authorities and local authorities to press ahead with joint strategic plans,” she said. “Positive planning, positive futures.”

When news broke of the inspectors’ approval, the reaction from the property industry was largely positive – although a few were more cautious in their praise.

Simon Maddox, partner in JMW’s real estate commercial team, was among them He said: “On the face of it Places for Everyone outlines a roadmap for future development for the years ahead, which should hopefully promote uniformity across the city regions.

“Obviously there is the inevitable Green Belt impact which will no doubt be the subject of concern and debate going forward; however, hopefully, the potential upside of sustainable and cohesive growth (with the increase in homes and jobs that will result) can mean that the positives outweigh some of the negative impact which may arise from the resultant challenges and issues.”

Jeremy Hinds, director at Savills, acknowledged that there may be squabbles over the allocations for employment and housing land – but for him, the real victory for Places for Everyone is larger than the individual numbers.

“The really big picture is that for the first time, all but one of the Greater Manchester councils have come together and agreed a vision for the region as a whole,” he said. “That fact should be celebrated. The fact that there may be nuances and differences – absolutely fine, but the real celebration is the coming together of a vision for the city as a region.”

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Well done to all involved. Big shout out for officers like Anne Morgan who have done a brilliant job holding everything together for the whole of GM (apart from Stockport obviously)

By Anonymous

Political cowardice from the Lib Dems, might as well go and join forces with Cheshire East or High Peak

By Stockport Bottled It

A disaster for the Green Belt.

By Chris Tansley

True about the green belt, that’s why I moved to Cheshire, In Manchester they’ll never stop building on everything for cheap housing

By Suffocating

Perfect. Let’s get cracking. As much as people moan about some of the Green belt use, I never see them comment on the protectorate side of the plan. 30 years of mapped out development means efficiency and best use of brownfield whilst protecting other non specified green belt. This is a good thing.

By David H

Places for Everyone will be the blueprint for the way planning is managed in the future, Stockport decision to pull out of this framework is more and more baffling and puts greenbelt in the borough at greater risk from over development.

By Anonymous

Well, Stockport is in Cheshire is it not? As most of Tameside is.

By Anonymous

@Chris Tansley – talking about the Green Belt as a single entity is not really that helpful. It’s certainly not all unspoilt rural land of natural beauty that will be despoiled by the encroachment of housing.

A decent recent estimate suggests that c1.2 million people already live in the green belt in England, and whilst some of it is genuinely green, it also contains such wonders of nature as a landfill fire near London that has been burning for c20 years. So any policy that would oppose building on ANY of it would be pretty silly.

By Salfordian

Bramhall is in Cheshire, Reddish is Manchester


Bramhall is as much in Cheshire as Cheshire and Greater Manchester is in Mercia. Bramhall, Stockport and Tameside are in Greater Manchester. 1974 happened, get over it.

Good news on PfE, now let’s get it adopted!

By 1974 calling

I doubt Stockport will turn down the billion pound tram investment, despite its preciousness.

By Elephant

Cheshire / Greater Manchester – whatever, it’s all the same thing.

By Anonymous

Stockport, including Bramhall, and Tameside haven’t been in Cheshire since 1974 when they became part of Greater Manchester.

By Anonymous

Oh dear , some people seem to be stuck pre 1974. You can be both in Cheshire or indeed Lancashire ie the historic counties and Greater Manchester or Merseyside ie the administrative boundaries. This is not difficult stuff but it does require you try to pay attention.

By Maken Effort

Can confirm that Stockport and Tameside have been in Greater Manchester for a long time now. Google usually helps in these situations

By For future ref

Very bad for south east Lancashire and north east Cheshire.
We don’t need more houses, we need less people.
We now need to fight them in the courts. Get your money into the to stop this diabolical building.

By Les

And all those saying it’s not Lancashire and Cheshire are wrong. As we were taught in Government and Citizenship or British Government and Politics, Greater Manchester is only an administrative area. Manchester, Liverpool and Barrow in Furness are still in the County Palatine of Lancashire.

By Les

Great work from all involved and a decent Green Belt compromise between the YIMBYs and NIMBYs who argued so forcefully for and against a lot of the sites.

We can but hope that a little heat is taken out of some of GM housing applications that will hopefully follow.

By Depressed Latic

Gosh how long overdue, it’s a wasted decade. Stockport actions are indefensible.


@ Stockport Bottle It
Stockport was run by Labour at the time they withdrew from GMSF, not the Lib Dems.

By Gethin

Great to see – also a landmark in devolution. Can’t see many other combined authorities with the political maturity to pull this off.

By Rich X

An article on administrative boundaries seems to be needed for the hard-of-thinking.

By By Baby (Baby Good By)

Congratulations to Stockport Council in standing up for the demos, and rejecting the imposition of central planning. Perhaps they will have their own plans for desecration of the green belt, construction of “hubs”, overdevelopment etc., but at least they can pay lip service the localism that is championed by all, except when it isn’t.

By Anonymous

Always baffles me why some people who live in places like Stockport are so reluctant to be associated with Manchester.

Lets be honest, if not for its proximity to Manchester, somewhere like Stockport would be largely irrelevant.

By Man Man

No mention of how this aligns with the C40 cities agenda Burnham is pursuing behind the backs of the regions residents .

By Mark

I dont mind losing a bit of greenbelt for a growing city. but we need to reject low density, low quality housing sprawl that will inevitably be favoured by the housebuilders. there needs to be a lot of thought go into it

By Gray

the council may have been Labour but it was the Tory and Lib Dem votes that pulled them out of the GMSF

By Gray

One issue that seems to be ignored is the long term business case for the new proposals. What will workplaces look like in the next 20-30 years? Probably, very different from now. The pandemic has already changed the way that people work and with the new govt legislation allowing people to ask for more flexible working, I think there is a missed opportunity to explore this further. There’s been a increase in people working for themselves and working from home and that seems unlikely to change. The advent of AI will likely further disrupt many sectors in the same way that the internet did causing significant change.

Building more houses requires a focus on quality housing not just housing. There is a shortage of skilled labour in the sector and plenty of news reports suggesting a growing number of new build issues; what will the impact of pushing the sector to add another 33% of housing production be? Plus, how will the existing local infrastructure cope – the roads are in a poor state of repair in many areas, the drains are creaking, schools are full, emergency services stretched, no access to dentists and many GPs are full – people need amenities not just houses. There’s also a retirement bubble looming that will see an exodus from the public sector and key jobs. There seem to be a list of questions not fully addressed in this plan alone.


Re. Gethin – Stockport wasn’t under Labour control when it withdrew from the GMSF. It was under no overall control with a minority Labour administration. Labour supported staying in; Hunter and the Lib Dems moved to pull out, and won with Tory support, as usual competing to outnimby each other.
And for anyone still excited by historic county borders 50 years after GM came into being, the historic Lancashire/Cheshire border is the River Mersey, so right up the middle of Merseyway.

By Rotringer

All those saying how awful it is that all these houses need to be built or that there are too many people…..GET REAL!

Where are YOU living now? You are living in a property that is situated on what was once undeveloped land. And you’re being all NIMBY about this? I’m all right Jack, but I don’t want any more houses to be built…..

We need more houses and despite what people say about the Green Belt, only a small percentage of our land is built on. Facts are facts: we cannot provide the number of properties we need purely by building on brownfield sites.

By Anonymous

There has been a housing crisis for as long as I can remember – 1958 onwards.
The parties who live in pleasant family homes over looking the Green Belt should remember two matters :-
: you do not own the view ;
: your home was in Green Belt land at one point which was re-zoned for residential development hence you have the house you are now in.

By Property Consultant. 1958 -

Stockport bottled it:
Most Stopfordians would happily be returned to Cheshire given the artificial, unnatural corralling into GM – a nightmare to which they clearly do not belong; High Peak would even be a better alternative.

By AltPoV

Reply to anonymous: most of Tameside was Lancashire, so you are wrong; only a small part south of the River Tame was in Cheshire.

By Alt PoV


What’s your source for all Stopfordians wanting to return to Cheshire?

The ones I know were as usual out in town (Manchester) this weekend, or commuting in for work from Bramhall… guess they understand we’re part of something bigger than a few hundred year old administrative boundaries.

But if you want to talk ancient counties the Heatons and Reddish should be Lancs anyway (north of the Mersey).

By Another POV

Hey folks, as much as I love a good geography debate – I’m putting a pin in the Stockport/Lancashire/Cheshire discussion. As for GMSF and Stockport – you can read our story from 2020 about what went down. While Stockport’s council leader was Labour’s Elise Wilson, the decision to pull out was made at a council meeting where Labour was in support of GMSF and Conservatives and Lib Dems were not. Here’s a link to our story:

By Julia Hatmaker

Another PoV: when the areas north of the Mersey were incorporated into the Cheshire County Borough of Stockport, the county boundary was moved north to include them and they were removed from Lancashire.
Exactly the same thing happened in Warrington in 1974 when the town was designated as Cheshire and a big chunk of Lancashire Warrington north of the Mersey was transferred to Cheshire.

By AltPoV

This may be a vision for some but the vast majority of people in these areas are horrified about the loss of greenbelt. It will totally destroy these areas we chose to come and live by.

By Sylvia wild

@Sylivia Wild – so it was ok for you to choose to live there, in a house that was once Green Belt and that others probably complained about at the time, but its now ok for you to deny others the right to the same – a decent house they can afford, for young people that grew up in the area not just new arrivals like you were. What’s that if not pure hypocrisy and self-interest?

By Anonymous

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