New homes and jobs plan bid for Wigan borough

A new masterplan for housing and employment in the borough is set to be put before Wigan Council’s cabinet tomorrow.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:28 pm

Councillors will be asked to approve the making of an agreement with eight other Greater Manchester local authorities which prepares a joint development plan to cover policies including land requirements for homes and job-creation.

The proposal will also feature site allocations, green belt boundary amendments and infrastructure across the nine districts.

It will be known as Places For Everyone, and will feature all the boroughs in Greater Manchester except for Stockport.

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Wigan town hall

This follows a decision not to take The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) forward.

That blueprint on how councils should develop their boroughs was ditched following the withdrawal of Stockport Council from the preparation process in December, having voted against it.

Councillors will also be asked to approve a joint committee of the nine Greater Manchester authorities for the purposes of forming and preparing the draft joint development plan document.

A document set to be considered by the cabinet reads: “The purpose of this report is to secure approval for Wigan to make an agreement with the other eight Greater Manchester authorities (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside and Trafford) to prepare a joint development plan to cover strategic policies across all nine districts and to establish a joint committee for the purposes of forming and preparing the draft joint plan.

“Building upon the work undertaken for the GMSF and the substantial evidence base established, this will provide a strategic planning framework for the nine districts.

“The proposed joint plan is to be known as Places for Everyone.”

The report adds: “Subject to the agreement of the nine districts to establish the new joint committee, the proposals should enable the preparation of this plan to take place in a timely fashion, to ensure that Wigan and the other Greater Manchester Districts have an up-to-date development plan.”

Previous plans under the GMSF have proved controversial with green belt land earmarked for some homes and businesses in several cases and this hasn’t gone down well with residents or community leaders.

However, some proposals - such as development on the farmland area in Kitt Green known as The Bell - were dropped amid public protests.

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