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GordonTilstone

Gtr Manchester Greenbelt groups meet GM Mayor Andy Burnham

On 2nd February 2019, representatives of Save Greater Manchester’s Greenbelt groups met GM Mayor Andy Burnham and Anne Morgan [Head of Planning for GMCA]

In the audio recording, Andy first presents his thoughts on the revised GMSF [Jan 2019].

This is followed by a question & answer session.

Click the link   –   Save Greater Manchester’s Greenbelt Groups meet Andy Burnham

“Think Again” say local residents

And they’re not alone.

Ordinary residents across Greater Manchester are looking at the revised GMSF in disbelief.

Ten of thousands of people  looked the original plan and say ‘NO’. In particular large numbers said ‘Save The Greenbelt’.

“Andy Burnham said he’d rewrite the plan. Well he hasn’t, he’s tweeked it round the edges and put some gloss on it, Not a botch job, but it hardly looks like a tradesman has been near it – very back of a fag packet” said Barry.

“There is so little detail in this revised plan. How am I supposed to give proper responses/comments? And there’s a lot suggestions that ‘we will look to do….[a rail station]’.”

“Planners have had two years to rewrite the plan. Can they really only show us  a massive ‘allocated site’ and not say where the new infrastructure will be?”

“The roads are already in a bad state of repair, GP surgeries and local hospitals are struggling to cope. And what about school places for new families?”2

Swamped!

Yes the 850 or so properties in the Slattocks/Stakehill/Chesham Area are set to be engulfed by 900 new homes and a further 250,000 sq metres of industrial units.

With roads already clogged at peak times and motorway closures causing overnight noise and pollution, this extra development is likely to cause havoc.

Planners say they’ve thought about it and know their solutions will work. We don’t think they really have.

Whilst the move to non-polluting electric vehicles is said to inevitable that doesn’t lessen number of vehicles on the roads.

Yes, a number of people can and will walk, cycle and use public transport to get around.

But, some people rely on their cars, other use taxis as a matter of course.

“Public transport needs to be much more convenient and much, much cheaper than it is and I can’t that happening very soon” said Ian, a local resident.

Ian added “After an evening shift, they’re thinking I’ll walk or cycle back up from Middleton. I’m cream-crackered. There’s no public transport at that time,  I need my car.”

“Yes, I love my exercise but how long would take me on the bus? I can’t walk over the lanes to a ‘Latics game – and walk back to Slattocks? That goes beyond dedication” said John, a season ticket holder.

Devastation

The revised GMSF consultation has now been published and is open for comment

Click Here

Where does it leave residents who suddenly find themselves living within the newly designated Greenbelt?

“I’m stuck” said a local resident affected by the plan. “I won’t be able to put up a garden shed without planning permission.”

Yes, planning permission on Greenbelt land can by extremely difficult to obtain, if not impossible.

But it should come as no surprise that local Councils and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority [GMCA] seem to think it’s perfectly alright to sweep a broad brush over people’s lives when it suits.

A number of local residents have previously asked for permission to place very small buildings on current Greenbelt only to be knocked back with “it’s Greenbelt, we can’t allow to build on there – it’s illegal.”

Well – all of a sudden, the rules are being changed because apparently those very same local Councils and GMCA have decided.

Is this the right way to treat local resident? And how can they trust their elected representatives?

Let’s Get Planning for the Future

Whilst the Greenbelt campaign has been successful, we need to think about how look forward.

We believe that we should try to future-proof the Area [Slattocks; Stakehill; Thornham Fold].

The Government has given us the tools so we can do this through the Locality Act 2011, with  Neighbourhood Planning.

Setting up a Neighbourhood Forum and Plan Area is the way forward.

With a Neighbourhood Forum and Plan we can do our best to influence and shape planning in our Area.

Local residents have formed a Neighbourhood Forum and applied to Rochdale Council to have it officially recognised [designated – is the official term], along with a Neighbourhood Plan Area.

The name “Thornham St John’s Neighbourhood Forum” [TSJNF] has come from our using the local parish boundary. This was decided on as appropriate as it was a long established boundary line with only minor adjustments, due to the M62 at Trows and housing on Rochdale Road opposite Cardinal Langley School.

Below is our designation statement to Rochdale Council and Plan Area map.

If you live in the Area outlined on the map and are interested in becoming a member of the Forum, email ‘greenbelt@slattocks.com’

TSJNF – Statement to RMBC