Tameside's only Green councillor backs GMSF by mistake

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 4:03pm

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter @CharGreenLDR

A majority of Tameside council members have agreed to back the spatial framework  – including the borough's only Green councillor who voted for the masterplan by mistake.

At a meeting of the full council on Tuesday night, numerous Labour councillors spoke in favour of the benefits of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), while opposition members outlined the impact on the environment and infrastructure.

Under the current iteration of the plan, around 2,790 homes would be built on land designated as green belt in Tameside.

The largest development proposed is the Godley Green Garden Village with 2,350 homes, followed by 440 homes on land south of Hyde.

There would also be 160,000 sqm employment space created at Ashton Moss West.

Green Party councillor for Ashton Waterloo Lee Huntbach spoke during the debate against the plans, but later ‘inadvertently’ voted for them.

“The flooding issue is what concerns me,” he said.

“It feels like a bit of a surrender. We’ve won back some of the green space, a considerable amount, but I think we need to fight on and I think it needs to be reconsidered.

“The large scale development that’s being considered in Godley Green concerns me and I think we need to fight on.

“Developers are simply carving up the countryside to make a fortune on homes that normal working class people can’t afford.”

However when it came to the named vote on the proposals, Coun Huntbach said ‘yes’ to indicate support for the GMSF.

“Can you come back to me, I inadvertently said yes when I meant no,” he added afterwards.

However chair of council business, Coun Joe Kitchen responded: “We’ve had the name call, you should know better.”

The five Conservative group councillors did vote against the plans.

Hyde Werneth Coun Phil Chadwick spoke against the spatial framework, citing oversubscribed schools in Hyde which he said would lead to an ‘absolute nightmare’ if the GMSF developments went ahead.

“I will not voting be voting for the approval of the GMSF. It needs scrapping and starting again with openness and transparency,” he added.

“It is out of date, out of touch and will be an utter shambles if this is approved.”

However Coun Oliver Ryan, the Labour cabinet member for finance, described Coun Chadwick’s comments as ‘sword rattling’.

“This is our sensible, proportionate, prophylactic against wild west developer cowboys who without this plan would be able to ride roughshod over our communities,” he said.

“Without this GMSF we would be building 27pc more housing in Tameside than what this currently proposes.”

Cabinet member for housing, Coun Ged Cooney, moved that the council vote on whether the draft plan should be submitted to the secretary of state.

He said: “On a real positive side to this, there are 12 new sites now that will move from protected areas presently in planning to actually green belt and it strengthens up their protected status.

“I am pleased that we’ve been able to reduce the amount of houses that need to be built in Tameside because of the oversubscribed houses that are going to be built in and around the city centre and Salford.

“All we’ve got now is just 2.5pc of our green belt that will be touched so that’s worked exceptionally well.”


Main image:

The meeting of Tameside virtual full council. Photo: Tameside council. 


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