22 February 2019
Yesterday I led a debate in Parliament into the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.I have a number of issues with the current proposals, which centre around three main points:
1. The proposals use population estimates from the Office of National Statistics from 2014. However, in 2016 the ONS revised these figures down in a more accurate estimate. This means we actually need fewer houses than are being proposed so many of the proposed developments could be decreased in size or scrapped altogether.
2. The proposals would still destroy vast swathes of the green belt. While there is brownfield land available, we should be building on this first. Derelict or vacant former buildings could be converted and, crucially, these buildings will already have the roads and utilities infrastructure necessary to support them, without having to build anew.
3. On that last point, the GMSF makes no detailed plans for how it would ensure that the required infrastructure is in place. A site of 250 new houses could mean anywhere between 500-700 new cars on the roads. Schools and doctor's surgeries would also be put under pressure.
I spoke strongly against the current proposals and was pleased that colleagues from across Greater Manchester joined me to voice their own concerns as well.
You can read the MEN take on the debate here: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/gr…
You can watch the highlights from my speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeBQvQA6s4g