Please check out the questions and answers from our MP Candidates.
Next meeting Queens Hotel 6th June 7pm!
Please check out the questions and answers from our MP Candidates.
Next meeting Queens Hotel 6th June 7pm!
The areas Identified so far in the Tameside area for development will only add to our already congested roads. The main motorway networks which lead into and out of our areas are already at breaking point and yet the councils are intending to increase traffic in all areas and as of yet they have no plan for new road infrastructure.
If we take the Godley Green and Apethorn Lane proposals. Although traffic at these locations is not a major problem at the moment most of the people in these areas have to travel to work this involves going via one of three routes out of the area.
Firstly a commuter may wish to travel out over the Woodhead or Snake pass towards Sheffield or Yorkshire. These roads are some of the most congested in the country. The traffic is in gridlock from 6.30am until 11am most day and even worse between 3.45pm and 7.30pm. Traffic is gridlocked along Mottram and through to Glossop as all times. This is a combination of poor narrow roads, heavy wagon usage and to many traffic lights. The Mottram lights have delays in all direction and a bypass has been proposed for the past 30 years, we are all still waiting.
The next route a commuter may choose could be through Hyde down the A57 towards the industrial sites in Dukinfield or Denton, The M67 in the main route and IS the most congested road in the country this was voted on in 2014 and full details are for all to see by clicking on the Manchester Evening News Site here.
£ 6 million pounds has recently been spent to improve traffic flow at the pinch point of the roundabout at Denton. This has made little or no difference to the traffic flows it has improved the flow from hyde towards Denton but has resulted in even further delays at peak times from Stockport for traffic exiting onto the roundabout causing hugh queues on the motorway slip road.
If traffic decided to avoid these areas the only other way out is via Bredbury. traffic queues from Morrison’s at Bredbury from 6.45am until 10am and the same at evening rush hour.
There is simply no escape from the traffic no new roads are planned the long awaited Mottram by Pass has been proposed but nothing has been decided.
The councils are still going to go ahead with the thousands of new houses which will add on average 2 cars per household to our already congested roads.
SGMGB is the umbrella organisation covering 30 groups across Greater Manchester
Below is there response to the Housing White Paper
Planning Policy Consultation Team
Department for Communities and Local Government
2 Marsham Street
17 Aprl 2017
Re: Response to Housing White Paper: Fixing Our Broken Market
The following sets out the response of Save Greater Manchester Greenbelt Association (SGMGBA) to the Housing White Paper (HWP). SGMGBA is the umbrella organisation that represents over 30 community organisations across Greater Manchester in response to the draft Greater Manchester Strategic Framework published in October 2016.
The HWP starts from the premise that the cause of the housing crisis is a shortage of housing and reiterates this point throughout. SGMGBA views this as an over-simplification of a complex problem that has developed in recent decades. Some experts interpret the statistical data as showing no shortage of housing and that building more will not bring prices down. For Iain Mulhern argues, “the best data we have shows that: the UK does have enough housing; housing costs are not high by the standards of the last 25 years, and have in fact fallen over the past decade; and additional supply, while welcome, will not have much impact on house prices or housing costs”. This is not to say the UK does not have some significant distributional issues, such as homelessness, a lack of social housing and tighter restrictions on Housing Benefit for those who struggle to pay market rents but these issues are separate from the macro issues of housing supply, cost and the impact of additional house building on the housing crisis.
Furthermore, the HWP does not take sufficient account of other changes in social and economic factors which have also influenced the ability of people to obtain appropriate housing including: significant under investment in social housing; modern household structures; levels of employment; spending and saving habits; interest rates on savings; ease of obtaining a mortgage; houses being used as an investment opportunity rather than a home. Simply building more houses will not have much impact when there are many complex factors that need addressing.
SGMGBA is therefore particularly concerned about the impact that the HWP will have on the UK’s Greenbelt. The HWP appears to see the building of more houses as the panacea to the UK’s housing crisis. Many local and combined authorities take a similar, simplistic view and are increasingly attempting to decommission large swaths of Greenbelt across the UK to enable house building. Furthermore, the HWP, in its current form, will further facilitate this approach. In this next section, we highlight our concerns about how the HWP will empower local authorities to build on Greenbelt land.
Specific Responses to HWP Questions
HWP Step 1: Planning the right homes in the right places
It is more appropriate that different levels of plans work together rather than a degrading of functionality as the result of the HWP’s attempt at simplification. For example, strategic sites identified by a Combined Authority must be scrutinised by the planning committee of affected local authorities.
We urge the Government to make clear that calculating housing need must be a two-stage process. Stage one is objectively assessed need (OAN policy-off) and stage two is an estimate of the housing requirement (OAN policy-On).
Local authorities should not be pressurised to adopt a housing requirement in excess of what is known to be deliverable from past experience. The estimate of the housing requirement should be specified with the range of its uncertainty resulting from the intrinsic uncertainties inherent in the estimation process.
We agree about stopping double counting of households in projections across geographies as picked up in the GMSF demographic appraisal.
We believe that the components to this question all relate to the fundamentally important NPPF Paragraph 14, which has been the subject of several judicial reviews, yet it is still not clear how NPPF Paragraph 14 is to be interpreted. Also, the present confusion is compounded by planning inspectors interpreting Paragraph 14 differently. We believe that one of the very important purposes of the HWP is to correct this regrettable state of affairs, especially having in mind that the NPPF intended to be a simplification of national planning policy that was intelligible to the ordinary public.
We also believe that the NPPF pushes greenfield before brownfield and therefore is not facilitating sustainable development. As such, it is not consistent with Government’s rhetoric claiming to value Green Belt land.
We agree that regulations should be amended so that all local planning authorities are able to dispose of land with the benefit of planning consent which they have granted to themselves
Local authorities either alone or in partnership with developers, constituted as a Development Corporation with powers of compulsory purchase, could undertake the assembly of highly contaminated urban brownfield land financed by planning gain. An area developed in this way could be made attractive to people who would otherwise relocate to a countryside greenfield area.
Public investment should focus on brownfield reuse, not on opening up further land in countryside.
It is good to refer to the environmental benefits as one of the ‘equal’ three pillars. We fully support the need for urban places to become more attractive to retain people who would otherwise look to move out of these areas.
We urge the Government to ensure that exception sites are retained for the social good and affordable housing types and tenures and not so readily allowed for market housing, where it is not exceptional.
We believe that Garden Villages fuel greenfield development in advance of needed brownfield regeneration. Where all other options have been exhausted we accept planned development of land in the countryside is better than unplanned development in the countryside. Infrastructure delivery must be commensurate with the scale of the development and public transport is a key element of new settlements to manage travel demands in the future.
Question 10a, b, c, d, e & f
We can do no better than quote a recent article published on the CPRE website:
“Permanence is one of the two essential characteristics of Green Belts, along with openness. Green Belt’s permanence is critical to minimising land speculation by developers and encouraging the long-term management of Green Belt land for farming, nature reserves and other natural resources. In policy and practice this has meant that Green Belt boundaries, once set, should endure for at least the typical 15-year life of a development plan and, preferably, for longer.
The White Paper now suggests that Green Belt boundaries can and should be reviewed every five years, as part of the new legislative requirement to both have a Local Plan and then to review it every five years. This interpretation is supported by paragraph 22 of the Government’s very recent response to the Select Committee inquiry on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
This isn’t the only way that Green Belt’s protection is weakened by the Paper. The Government’s reiteration that Green Belt can be released only in exceptional circumstances sounds reassuring – until we realise that under the definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the Housing White Paper it looks like these circumstances are set to become much less exceptional.
The proposed definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’ test (para 1.39 of the White Paper) suggests ‘housing requirements’ should be one component. But in many areas, housing requirements are often highly ambitious and well above recent trends of actual housebuilding. There is no prospect of there being the kind of public investment in housing that would enable these requirements to be met any time in the future – so the test could be used by developers and some local authorities to justify a constant state of Green Belt review. This is a fundamental change in emphasis from previous statements by ministers that housing demand alone isn’t a reason to change Green Belt boundaries.
We also fear that the requirement to ‘examine fully’ other options may prove to be toothless in practice. Since the introduction of the NPPF in 2012, planning inspectors have rarely challenged local authorities who have actively sought to promote Green Belt release, even where there are significant amounts of brownfield land available. Bradford and Leeds are key recent examples of this.
The White Paper has plenty of valuable insights on the broken housing market and how we can fix it, but it appears to seriously undermine the Government’s manifesto commitment to protect the Green Belt. Breaches of the Green Belt and our protected landscapes are a symptom of this broken market, and not a workable or sustainable solution for it.”
SGMGB believes that the HWP proposals will weaken protections for Green Belt land. Green Belt planning policy is a success, an envy of the world, it delivers compact cities. As it stand the HWP will undermine this success.
Currently Brownfield Registers are restricted to ‘suitable’ brownfield sites only. They should include a record of all sites, not just public sector.
The Government should ensure that Brownfield Registers record all previously developed land, albeit with sub-categories of green sites that are “suitable”, amber – sites ready to go with moderate intervention, and red sites that are so constrained they are unlikely to be reused without significant investment. If all brownfield is unrecorded it is difficult to accept land in countryside should be allowed for development, as allocating further land for development will hinder the prospect of constrained brownfield land being reused and this will serve to blight the communities and places within which they are located.
HWP Step 2: Building Homes Faster
In our view the fee should be substantial and reflect the scale of the development; it could be refunded (by PINS) if the appeal is allowed. Local authorities should not be liable for costs in the case of a successful appeal for not having advised the applicant on how the proposal could have been made acceptable when the applicant has not sought advice.
This is good. We support a brownfield focus of public sector investment to unlock potential in existing urban areas rather than needlessly bulldozing land in countryside. (See answer to Question 15 all brownfield land should be recorded).
Our response to this question and several following questions is based on a recommendation that CPRE Lancashire presented to Sajid Javid on 27 March 2017 in the context of a meeting of Nick Thompson, CPRE Lancashire Branch Chairman, with the Secretary of State and Tony Caldeira (Conservative Party Mayoral Candidate for the Liverpool City Region).
Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) need adequate powers to ensure that developers build out their planning consents in a timescale, which allows LPAs to remain compliant with the 5-Year Housing Supply (5YHLS) Rule and so avoid the damaging consequences of failing to satisfy the rule.
In summary, we recommend the following scheme for monitoring and controlling the build out of a planning consent from start to completion:
Much more could be said about the control that this form of phasing gives to LPAs. It has the merit of flexibility and takes account of the interests of large-scale developers who are not trying to game the system (land banking, controlling development rates to maintain house prices) and by giving LPAs the tools with which to influence delivery makes LPAs accountable for delivery in a fair way.
The presumption is that the development of the site under consideration is only because there is no “suitable brownfield” site available and it satisfies all the requisite planning policies. Subject to that proviso, we are in favour of the proposal being permitted, but the consent should specify the build out timing in the spirit of the phasing proposal in Question 21.
The fact that the developer has a backlog of extant permissions in a given housing market should be a significant material consideration for an LPA assessing the application. This means the LPA can refuse the application on this ground, but does not have to. We applaud the Government’s offer to reign in the biggest housing developers, who routinely land bank sites in order to trigger approval on greenfield land never intended for development. It threatens needless development of the countryside.
We do not see why a bone fide new developer would be deterred by calling to account developers who are not delivering on their consents. See comment to question 23.
Our proposal above gives the flexibility about timings necessary without effecting the housing land supply. We believe the timescale should be commensurate to the scale of the task presented by the development of the site. See answer question 21.
Ditto. See answer to question 25.
The LPA should be able to exercise its power of serving a completion notice without it being regarded such an exceptional measure that it has to be referred to the Secretary of State. An over-reliance on the Secretary of State undermines the predictability of the planning system.
Ditto. See answer to question 25.
The performance measures would be acceptable only if LPAs were given real powers to enforce delivery as set out in answer to question 21.
We suggest powers for LPAs to establish Development Corporations alone or in partnership with developers, register providers or community trusts.
Exclusions should apply to supported housing, custom build schemes where the aim is very low cost housing across the whole development and community land trusts.
We welcome the proposals to amend national policy to make clear that sustainable development must reflect economic, social and environmental roles. The NPPF has been too developer led which has resulted in planning policies, especially around sustainable development, being open to interpretation often in planning inquiries and high court. Setting the government’s intention that all three core principles are evenly weighted is a crucial step and would have avoided the paragraph 14 rulings.
Note 4th May 2017- Due to dissolved Parliament government permissions are now closed
Page will contain ongoing petitions on a local and national level relevant to our cause.
In England, an asset of community value (ACV) is land or property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.
TMBC has to keep a register and list of these.
May 2017 SOCS Mossley has applied to have Spring Street Carpark and Gardens as a community asset.
April 2017 DBGS Has successfully got the ACV approved for AFC and the cricket club. Two applications for the stables and angling club were denied.
Denton South have applied for Two Trees to become an ACV.
Appealing an ACV decision- useful info below
Dane Bank Green Space has made 4 requests and 2 are approved.
-Tameside is still under a UDP and still developing a local plan but the UDP was comprehensive and satisfactory. Why change?
-Earlier consultation pre to drafting of local plan not widely publicised.
18 March 2016 1:04 pm | By Sophie Barnes
Council planning departments failing to submit Local Plans by March 2017 could be put in ‘special measures’, under proposals being considered by the government.
Under the current ‘special measures’ regime for planning, councils that are considered too slow in deciding planning applications can be bypassed by developers, who can go straight to the Planning Inspectorate instead.
A report today by the Local Plans Expert Group, formed by communities secretary Greg Clark and housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis, recommended that these ‘special measures’ should also apply to councils missing the March 2017 deadline for Local Plans.
The report concluded the Local Plans process needs “substantial reform” and estimated “less than half” of the country’s housing need is being met by Local Plans.
The group said it approached its task “aware that there is a difficulty with plan production” but found “the extent of the difficulties… are even more severe than we anticipated”.
Plan-makers face “multiple difficulties” including a complex process and communities are “turned off by the length, slow pace and obscure nature of many Local Plans”.
The group heard an “almost unanimous consensus” that making Local Plans is hampered by “a lack of political will and commitment”, difficulty over agreeing housing needs and too many changes to policy and advice.
Policy changes may be “beneficial in their own right” but have had the “unintended consequences of destabilising plan-making, which needs a solid foundation”, the report found.
In the Budget published on Wednesday, the government said it would “look at the scope to reduce the weight of outdated plans in decision-making”.
If councils have not submitted a Local Plan by March 2017 then any existing housing plans should be considered out of date, the group said.
Similarly, any Local Plan by March 2018 that does not take into account the changes set out in the latest National Planning Policy Framework, which is currently going through consultation, should also be considered out of date. The group recommends the National Planning Policy Framework is only amended every five years, to provide stability in policy.
The government will consult on the recommendations until the end of April. Councils warned earlier this week that a suggested six to 12-month window to review Local Plans in the light of changed definitions of affordable housing is not achievab
Manchester Against Climate Change supports us.
Greater Manchester Campaign Against Climate change believes that all of the greenbelt area around Greater Manchester should be saved and extended. In the face of climate change, greenbelt land has an increasingly important role in storing carbon and preventing flooding and is a vital economic resource for food security and soil protection.
FOE Air Quality Survey
We will be working with Friends of the Earth on an air survey across Tameside as Manchester sadly remains one of the most polluted cities in the UK. Sustainable development is therefore even more vital.
Tameside has Community Gardens in Stalybridge, Hattersley and Mossley that are vital to the community, make a viable use of space and vital education for Tameside children. Mossley also has a community orchard and the presence of the orchard has saved a greenspace in April 2017 from sale for development.
The Woodland Trust has provided some info below pertaining to registering a community woodland, protecting trees with TPO orders.
If you are intending on acquiring and managing local woodland as part of a community group, then perhaps you might like to take a look at our Community Woodland Network website, for some inspiration?
The website has resources and information relating to acquiring and managing woodland, principally for the benefit of shared ownership. This section has documents about acquiring woodland, which you might find helpful.
This section has details about setting up a community group: https://communitywoodland.org/advice/
We have a section about ‘community assets’ which may also be of use: https://communitywoodland.org/woodland-assets-sale/
It may be advisable to get in touch with the Small Woods Association, as they may be able to provide you with guidance on the sustainable management of woodland for commercial benefit:
Also, the Forestry Commission has a leaflet about woodland management which you may find helpful: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/so-you-own-a-woodland.pdf/$file/so-you-own-a-woodland.pdf
The only legislation that protects trees or groups of trees is through a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
TPOs are usually placed on a tree with high amenity or nature conservation value.
This means that the tree or trees will need to be visible from a public place. The official view is that the trees or tree should be protected if its removal would have a significant impact on local environment and the enjoyment of it by the public.
A tree with a TPO placed on it, requires written permission from the council before any work can be done that might affect it in any way. Without this permission, the person concerned (including the landowner) may be prosecuted.
More detailed information about tree preservation orders is on our website:
Next public meeting of the group
Queens Hotel Hyde
Open letter is being sent as a rebuttal to the articles published 9 and 11 May in Tameside Reporter- these were articles of data submitted by groups that are lobbying for GMSF development and we want all Tameside residents to have the full facts.
MP CANDIDATE QUESTIONS
New Mayor Andy Burnham this morning confirmed he would rework the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, to include more emphasis on affordable homes, fringe towns, and a “significant reduction” in plans to build on Green Belt.
Burnham named Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett as the new portfolio lead for housing, regeneration and homelessness, taking over from Cllr Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Council.
Watch Burnham’s announcement on the GMSF in full:
Burnham said he wasn’t yet “setting a specific timetable” for the rewrite, but that his priority was to deliver “the right plan, not a rushed plan”.
Work on the GMSF has been ongoing since 2014. A first draft was published in October and recommended 227,200 new homes be built in the next 20 years, 28% of the new units on Green Belt land, 12,000 acres of which would be removed from GM’s protected land.
A final draft was due to go out to consultation later this year, and adoption was scheduled for 2018.
On the current draft, Burnham said it would have delivered “decaying town centres, surrounded by urban sprawl”.
While a change in position on the Green Belt formed a key part of his announcement, Burnham also stressed that “Greater Manchester can’t stand still, we can’t close the door on development… It’s not possible to protect every bit of Green Belt.”
He called for more of a focus on Greater Manchester’s fringe towns and asked the property community: “Bring me schemes, imaginative schemes, for a new focus and future for our town centres.”
The £300m Greater Manchester Housing Fund also came under attack by Burnham and new housing lead Dennett. While Burnham said that “not all of the loans from the fund have been wrong”, it had placed too much emphasis on supporting high-rise, private rented sector projects, which had then been sold on to international investors.
Dennett agreed: “The beneficiaries of what we’ve done in Greater Manchester, are not the people who live in Greater Manchester.”
The first £300m tranche of the fund has been allocated, and loans are now being repaid. Burnham said these repayments signalled “a change of focus” for the fund, which would now be used towards “council housing and affordable housing”.
Schemes that have received loans from the fund include £70m to Renaker for its PRS project at Owen Street, £36m to Select Property for the residential element of Circle Square, £43m to Urban & Civic for its “high end” residential scheme on Princess Street.
The Greener UK coalition of environmental organisations, including National Trust, WWF, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Green Alliance, are united in the belief that now is the time for the UK to secure a healthy and thriving natural environment for this, and future generations, to enjoy.
This is a pivotal moment for the environment. We are depleting our soils and water supplies, generating mountains of food and plastic waste, changing our climate and making the air in our cities dangerous to breathe. Our wild places are dwindling, and we face the sadness of once familiar animals and plants fading away from our gardens and countryside.
Many of the UK’s environmental protections have been developed with the European Union, and we believe that it is in everyone’s interests that, following Brexit, strong standards remain in place to ensure clean air and water, a stable climate and thriving wildlife.
We all need to play our part in safeguarding and restoring our natural environment.
The Greener UK coalition has launched a manifesto calling on the UK government to restore and enhance the environment as part of its plans for leaving the European Union by:
Over 215 MPs from across the UK’s political parties have so far signed up to the Greener UK coalition’s Pledge for the Environment.
With the help of our supporters and our partners and by engaging people’s love of nature and the outdoors we’re playing our part in initiatives to reverse the decline of the natural environment.
We’re testing approaches to landscape scale land management, working with partners in long-term projects and aiming to deliver landscapes that are healthy and beautiful, rich in wildlife and culture, enjoyable and productive.
We’re also exploring the potential for how farmers and landowners could be incentivised and rewarded for ensuring the long-term future of the natural environment which we all depend upon. The need for a new system of support for farming to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy makes this work even more important. We’re talking to farming and conservation organisations about what a new system that works for farmers and nature should look like.
SGMGB has responded to the Housing White Paper of an umbrella group. The full response can be seen in the SGMGB section.