MPs vow to fight new Greater Manchester homes plan

Allocations and current green belt Image copyright GMSF
Image caption A draft report by GMSF said the release of some green belt was "essential"

An MP has dubbed plans for thousands of new homes across Greater Manchester a "green belt grabbing exercise".

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority aims to build at least 225,000 homes over the next 20 years.

But Denton and Reddish Labour MP Andrew Gwynne and Tory MP for Bolton West Chris Green have vowed to fight plans to use some green belt land in parts of the scheme.

A draft report on the scheme said the use of some green belt was "essential".

'Open book'

The plans, known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, are to be discussed by the combined authority's 10 council leaders on Friday before the launch of consultation.

Mr Gwynne agreed there was a need for housing growth but is sceptical about the figures.

"It appears to be an open book for developers to pick and choose the most favourable sites to develop and those are very often in the green belt," he said.

"What really worries me is this green belt grabbing exercise will do nothing to spearhead the regeneration of urban parts of Greater Manchester that actually need the level of investment to ensure those communities continue to thrive."

Mr Green said he was opposing plans for 6,000 new homes near the M61.

He argued developers should make better use of existing brownfield sites and build more apartment blocks in town centres.

"We have to look at building up and having a higher population density... [which] makes it easier to walk to the shops and cycling around... and makes public transport far more viable."

Alex Ganotis leader of Stockport Council, which is part of combined authority, said it will do all it can to ensure the developments were done "in the right areas".

"We won't build in any of these areas unless we can demonstrate infrastructure will be provided such as schools, GP surgeries, roads, public transport to support this."

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