The deadline to submit views on Greater Manchester’s emerging 20-year development strategy has been extended to Monday 16 January, as the gap widens between industry opinion on the appropriate target for housing to be set in the plan.
The first draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposes the delivery of 230,000 homes and 11m sq ft of commercial space across city region. The framework has been out for consultation since October.
The GMSF housing target would require the construction of 11,500 homes each year.
However, the Housing the Powerhouse campaign, made up of a consortium of housebuilders and Greater Manchester’s Chamber of Commerce, has called this target “unambitious” and has suggested the figure be increased to 16,000.
At the other end of the scale, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has circulated its consultation response, suggesting the GMSF includes “untenable economic growth assumptions” and risks “a huge scale of over-supply”.
According to figures from an independent demographer commissioned by CPRE, only 9,900 homes a year, equating to 198,000 over the 20-year plan period, would be sustainable in Greater Manchester.
The organisation also criticised the plan for focusing too little development on brownfield land, and said that “there are not exceptional circumstances to releasing 4,900 hectares of Green Belt land”.
A statement released on Friday from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which is overseeing the creation of the GMSF, said: “Greater Manchester Combined Authority has been consulting on the first draft of the GM Spatial Framework since 31 October. This is an important plan and it has already generated a huge amount of public interest.
“Many public events have taken place across the region and more than 32,000 people have logged on to our consultation website to find out more about the proposals and how to respond.
“The GMCA wants to make sure that everyone who wants to, has the opportunity to take part in the consultation, and some people have told us that they need longer so GMCA has decided to extend the consultation until Monday 16 January 2017.”
A final draft of the GMSF is due to be published in July 2017.
The plan is expected to be adopted in 2018, subject to further consultation and a final vote by council leaders and the new city region mayor.