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

Places for Everyone takes big step forward

Don’t get too excited – there are still a few hurdles to overcome before final approval is secured for the Greater Manchester spatial framework.

Planning inspectors have issued a series of modifications for Places for Everyone, a document that plots out the development future for every Greater Manchester local authority except for Stockport. This joined-up vision has been in the works since August 2014.

Each council will now need to approve the inspectors’ modifications for public consultation. Greater Manchester Combined Authority officials say that the consultation process will last eight weeks, which is longer than required.

Information for the public consultation will be released “in due course”, GMCA said.

A quick peek at a list of proposed main modifications, published on the Places for Everyone examination website earlier this week, shows movements to extend Places for Everyone’s validity to 2039 and to increase the amount of Green Belt released from 4,300 acres to 5,500 acres.

In July, news broke that the 74-acre Chat Moss site north of Irlam station had been removed from Places for Everyone. The site had been set for 800 homes. Its removal was done to preserve peatland habitat.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, who has been leading GMCA’s efforts for Places for Everyone, welcomed the progress towards consultation.

“It has been a long road to get us here, but the prize at the end of more homes, more jobs and sustainable growth rejuvenating our green spaces, reshaping our town centres and integrating new developments with our transport infrastructure to unlock new opportunities and tackle inequalities looks ever closer,” he said.

He added later: “Ultimately, having a city-regional spatial plan of the nine local authorities will be a critical tool in supporting Greater Manchester’s case for further devolution from central government, whilst also providing us with a strategic blueprint, along with district’s local plans to further advocate for the residents, families and communities of Greater Manchester with national government, the investment and development communities and within a global economy.”

Dennett said that 2024 was the goal for adopting Places for Everyone, which would see its implementation arrive a decade after it was conceived.

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5500 acres of green belt being “released” is mind boggling. Funny how the environmental drum stops beating when it suits the agenda.

By Desmond

The electorate in Bury has already undertaken its own consultation on the #PlacesForEveryone by way of a petition against the plan. Over 6,000 signatures are on the petition against this plan.

By Philip Smith-Lawrence

This plan with its proposed destruction of so much greenbelt land is absolutely shameful and needs to be stopped! What happened to a ‘brownfield first policy’

By Marie Holder

About time. Far too much dilly dallying

By jd

About time this is sorted! Maybe we can finally got some much needed homes built

By Anon

The Greenbelt Gestapo will probably slow this process down because they believe that some scratty field on the outskirts of Bury, is more important than providing homes for people. Everywhere was Greenbelt once.

By Elephant

Desmond – the green belt was designated just after the Second World War and things have moved on. Much of it is of low ecological value.


Street-based urbanism with town houses and mashion blocks and biodiverse planting of woodland buffets on low-quality greenbelt could make for a great way forward.


About time this got approved, we need more housing in Greater Manchester the loss of a small amount of green belt land is necessary. Stockport will suffer the loss of more green belt as a result of pulling out of the places for everyone framework.

By Anonymous

There are acres and acres of brownfield land in Greater Manchester that we should develop before even considering the green belt. The only people who want the green belt released for development are major house builders. Nobody benefits except them.

By Anonymous

    Hi Anonymous! Felt like given some other comments and in the interest of fairness, now was a good time to remind everyone that Green Belt does not mean greenfield. Some Green Belt land is actually brownfield. It’s not all countryside.

    By Julia Hatmaker

Long overdue but well considered plan process that has been scrutinised throughout by relevant professionals. Emotive subject matter with vastly differing opinions on the proposals is an understatement. I think its now time to be decisive, plan for growth and get on with it.

By Anonymous

This will have been a decade late. And they say the Tories are incompetent. The 10 GMCA councils had a plan which was upended by the Mayor.


The developers will be rubbing their hands, Greenbelt land, and so much of it! ‘Fill yer boots lads! Roads , houses, traffic, pollution it’s good for you…better for us tbh…what’s that? , Doctors, dentists, schools…? profit in that. We’ll have moved on by then.’

By Anonymous

You can’t honestly be comparing the years of recent Tory rule, particularly at time engrossed by the abominable proposals for HS2, to GM politicians?

By Not even political

If there’s new green belt releases it would be great to see the new sites, and let’s hope they are strongly transit orientated with bus franchising and GM Rail coming from 2025.

By Rich X

They’ll need to start working on the next one straightaway considering this one took so long to produce. A decade to conceive is disgraceful.

By Anonymous

Fantastic to see this plan finally get off the ground. No matter what anyone says, most of GM’s local authorities don’t have enough viable, available brownfield land to meet the LHN figure. Some land is far too expensive to remediate or is designated for employment use (believe it or not, that’s important too). Also, it always amazes me that it’s those people who have owned their own 3/4 bedroom house, in a nice suburb, who are the ones lobbying for more dense residential accommodation (usually apartments) with limited outdoor space or not fit for families. They’re happy for other people to live in that accommodation as long as it isn’t their family, they want them to live in a nice house with a garden, a place to bring up a family.


There’s approx 284,160 of land in Greater Manchester (excluding Stockport). That means that 5,500 acres is less than 2% of the land across the city region. That is nothing and much of what is proposed to be released is poor quality with little ecological or social value, much of which has previously been developed (i.e. brownfield).

By Anonymous

Spare a thought for Stockport. They withdrew from PfE, and now not only can they not provide homes for people who need them, they’re about to face a string of Green Belt defeats with costs, starting with Mirlees Fields. True incompetence.

By Pete

Hopefully this will take at least another 10 yrs to even think about. Waste of time the whole document. Time to bin it completely.

By Anonymous

So the modifications required (greenbelt release) are the same things the mayor spent half a decade re-doing the plan over…what a waste of time from a blowhard with no idea.

By Anonymous

As an e2e process it’s not been a thing of beauty, or Burnham’s finest moment. That said, getting it done, with Atom Valley, and a further greenbelt release feels like a big win. Thoughtful this will still look good vs WY and WM. The remaining nine boroughs are, on-balance, politically more pro-development than in the last electoral cycle. It’s a window we need to jump through.

By Rich X

Those lamenting the release of Green Belt should really just look out of the window when on a flight out of Manc Airport just to see just how little land the conurbation is crammed into. Why is it taking so long to get Manchester the houses it needs to grow and thrive. Well done to the CA for persevering ….but jeez, the planning system is truly broken.

By Sceptic

If it is accepted that some greenbelt will need to be used in each of the constituent authorities to provide the necessary sites for development, surely it is common sense to use those greenfield areas that are strategically placed next to or near to motorway connections, railway stations, services such as sewage and surface water drainage that are capable of dealing with the extra load? This is not the case at present, some of the proposed sites are woefully placed to meet these criteria, when much better placed greenfield sites are available in that particular borough. Will there be changes, will common sense prevail?

By K. W.

Puzzles me that Burnham is allowed to get away without paying any discernible political price despite utterly and completely screwing this up. Ditto his approach to policing. Very unfortunate.

By distant observer

The word “proposed” has been removed from reference to HS2 passing through Lowton etc. The proposed spur had been removed had it not?

By Steven Prescott

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