Cheshire East Council is preparing it response to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority's current consultation on their new development plan for the whole metropolitan area for the next 20 years.
The draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), which covers the ten Greater Manchester local authorities, sets out how much housing and employment land is needed and the distribution between each district up to 2035.
The Combined Authority maintain there is a need to deliver 200,000 new jobs in the period up to 2035 and 227,200 new dwellings - 28% of which will be located in the Green Belt.
Almost a quarter of these are proposed for Manchester City, with the remainder distributed across the other 9 Boroughs. Our near neighbours Stockport and Trafford account for some 42,400 homes between them.
Consultation on the document was initally running until 23rd December 2016, however Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced on Monday, 19th December, that the public consultation has been extended until the Monday 16th January 2017 to make sure that everyone who wants to, has the opportunity to take part in the consultation.
Last week a spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said they will not be making any comment before 23rd December, however a report prepared for the Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, 14th December outlines the Council's concerns - particularly regarding the impact on the Green Belt, transport and accessibility with over 12,000 new homes proposed closed to the Cheshire East border.
The GMSF proposes to make significant alterations to the Green belt – overall the Framework plans to remove 4,900 hectares of land from the conurbation's Green Belt - including a number of significant green belt alterations located just across the Cheshire East Border with Greater Manchester.
The allocations close to the Cheshire East boundary are: 4000 homes in High Lane, 2,400 homes in Woodford, 3,700 homes near the A34 in Cheadle, 2000 homes at Heald Green along with business expansion at Manchester Airport.
The Strategic Planning Board were recommended to make the following comments on these allocations closest to the Borough:
Cheshire East Council is very concerned at the scale of this proposal, and its impact on the integrity of the green belt between nearby settlements.
The Proposal is very likely to have significant impacts on transport and accessibility in an already congested corridor – and further work is necessary to show how these would be mitigated. This should be integrated with the current SEMMMS refresh. CEC are of the view that the Poynton Relief Road is a prerequisite for the delivery of this site; and as such this scheme should form part of the TfGM Transport Strategy
Cheshire East Council is concerned that this site is located some distance from any railway station or railway line and a policy to improve linkages to Poynton Railway Station should be included.
Consideration should be given to linkage to the North Cheshire Garden Village – this could provide a different and preferable means of securing growth.
Development is likely to have a significant impact on the A6 through Disley and therefore additional work would be beneficial to assess and mitigate this. The A6 through Disley is subject to a declared Air Quality Management are; traffic predictions for the new A6-MARR link road suggest additional traffic will be attracted through this corridor. Analysis of the AQ impacts is requested in this area.
Cheshire East supports the concept of a new station to serve this area, though existing service patterns need to be protected – and the potential to link through to Middlewood station. The provision of a railway station is considered to be essential for this scale of development in this location. The Middlewood way should be retained as part of any extension of heavy rail.
The proposed allocation is likely to impact onto the A34 in an already busy transport corridor. Cheshire East Council encourages the potential for a new railway station to be explored within the site, alongside other measures from the SEMMMS refresh including measures to address the cross border impacts on CEC highway network.
Cheshire East Council notes the allocation, but prefers that it secures good linkages to the nearby Heald Green Railway station.
Cheshire East Council notes the allocation but prefers that the exceptional circumstances for release from the Green Belt are demonstrated and that appropriate landscape mitigation is included. However, an assessment of the impact of additional traffic through Wilmslow is requested and if required measures provided to secure transport improvements in Wilmslow to mitigate the impact of this proposal.
The current consultation on the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework runs until 11.59pm on on January 16th 2017, visit their consultation portal to view the documents and comment.
Second image shows the site of the A34 near Cheadle Hulme.