As a resident of Bury and candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester I attended last nights meeting (Friday 6th January 2017) of the ‘Bury Folk Against the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework’.
I have made my objections to building on Green Belt land very clear and if elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester I would use the Mayors office to get a Judicial review of the plans putting an instant stop to them in their current form.
This was a well attended meeting with virtually everyone in the meeting, apart from Bury Council Leader Shori, calling for the GMSF to be scrapped.
On a couple of points it was clearly apparent that: –
- Bury Councils figures didn’t add up.
- That the proposal hadn’t been properly thought through.
- That the Council had clearly not wanted to properly consult the people of Bury.
On the first point it was highlighted that the population of Bury has only increased by approx 500 people in the past 118yrs, the Councils population projection is based on pre-Brexit data where the net immigration as been running at over 300,000 people per year and is clearly questionable.
- The report states that 72% of the building plans are on Brown field sites and 28% on Green Belt land, this is a generalised view for Greater Manchester. When we look at Bury the figures are 40% on Brown filed and a whopping 60% on Green Belt Land.
On the second point it was highlighted that one of the areas proposed is extremely prone to subsidence due to old mine workings, Council Leader Shori seemed surprised to hear this and stated if that was the case then any application for building in that land would fail. Surely before putting any proposal forward you would make sure that it is a viable option in the first place. Clearly the council haven’t reviewed the viability of the plans they have submitted.
On the third point, it was highlighted that the council have used specific areas to publish the proposal, these specific areas have very limited exposure and would be very rarely seen by the vast majority of residents.
- On the Bury web site – People would only go to the web site if they have a specific item they wanted to find, it is not the type of site people would follow on a daily basis
- On T.V. screens in Town Hall – Again the amount of people who visit the town hall is extremely small compared to the population of Bury and those attended would be visiting for a specific reason
- Other council buildings notice boards – Once again an area limited to very small numbers.
If the council can send out a leaflet to every resident telling them when their bins are going to be emptied then surely they can send out a leaflet about the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework(unless they don’t want you to know about it)
On such a major issue that will have long term effects the council should properly consult with all residents.
Our environment, our way of life and health will be drastically affected by the proposals.
No one, other than myself, came up with a viable plan to get the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework stopped in its current form.