Final draft of Greater Manchester Spatial Framework shows Trafford playing important role

The final draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – the region’s vision for housing, jobs and the environment – is published today and shows that Trafford is playing a major part in the region’s future. 

Brownfield development, hundreds of new affordable homes and new jobs form the backbone of the borough’s role in the GMSF which was put together by the 10 local authorities to guide the region through to 2037.

The GMSF, which was first published in 2016 after feedback from 27,000 GM residents, sets out the key locations for new homes, jobs and infrastructure as well as strategic policies to guide all forms of new development.

The plans underwent a review to reducing the impact of development on green belt land, and a revised draft was shared in 2019. The final stage of consultation was due to take place earlier this year but was postponed until now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan sets out how Greater Manchester will build the right homes, in the right places so everyone can live in well-connected and environmentally sustainable villages, towns and cities and will help the region to continue to be a dynamic, attractive place to invest and do business.  There is a real threat of unplanned development and risk to the greenbelt if the region does not have a long term plan.  The GMSF will require all new development to be net zero carbon by 2028 and will identify and protect our most important parks, open spaces, woodland, rivers and canals.

The new plan reveals that, in Trafford,  over three quarters of all new homes will be built on existing land and small sites – reducing the loss of green belt land from the original plan by a huge 40 per cent. In addition land for some 365,000 square metres of business space has been identified, providing a boost for local jobs and a strong pipeline of sites for future employment in the borough.

The Framework reveals that two major developments which reflect changes to protect the green belt in Trafford are planned to take place. In Carrington, this includes the regeneration of parts of the former Petro-chemical works to provide 4,300 homes and 350,000sqm of employment space. There will also be improvements to provide green space, neighbourhood retailing and community facilities. 

In Timperley Wedge there are plans for 1,700 homes, a commercial development and the creation of a rural park in the green belt with improved public access. This development will link through to a related allocation within the City of Manchester and will be supported by a planned Metrolink extension and new spine road.

Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council, said:

At a time when we face increased economic uncertainty alongside the ongoing challenge of climate change it is vital that we work strategically with our neighbours to map out the future of our borough and the wider city region. 

“This revised plan takes advantage of our initiatives such as the Trafford Civic Quarter, to boost sustainable development within the urban area. As a consequence we are minimising building in the green belt – with this 2020 plan seeing a 100Ha reduction in green belt development from the 2019 version – and a massive 40% reduction in green belt loss from the first draft published in 2016.”

Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration, said:

Wherever new development is planned, we want to ensure it benefits as many people as possible in the borough. Under the policies of this plan the new allocations at Carrington and Timperley could provide over 1,200 new affordable homes for local people. Alongside new land for business and employment, we are also planning for a full suite of supporting infrastructure in terms of transport and community facilities. 

“By working constructively together with our neighbours we can responsibly meet the needs of our communities for homes, jobs and facilities while providing certainty for future business and government Investment. When we face so many uncertainties in our current times, more than ever we need to be working collaboratively and looking positively to the future of our borough. I urge people to get involved and have their say once the plan is published for comment in December.”


Following approval by all council leaders, elected representatives from all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities will be asked to consider and approve the plan throughout November.

If all 10 councils agree, the plan will then be brought forward for eight weeks of public consultation from 1 December to 26 January 2021. This stage will give all residents and stakeholders a chance to see how the plan has evolved in response to issues previously raised, and to submit any formal representations.


At the end of the final consultation phase, the plan will be prepared for submission to the Government next year.  Following a public examination and approval by the Secretary of State, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework could be ready for adoption by 2022. It will become part of the statutory development plan for each of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester.

Posted on Friday 23rd October 2020