Changes to the timetable for delivering Greater Manchester’s long-awaited blueprint for growth will not prevent Rochdale Borough Council from pressing ahead with its own plans to attract more jobs and investment.
The newly-revised timetable for the Spatial Framework was announced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Wednesday, 16 August 2017. An updated version of the plan, which is being re-drafted to reflect feedback from a large-scale public consultation that ended earlier this year, will now be published in June 2018.
The framework sets out how Greater Manchester councils will deliver new homes and employment opportunities over the next 20 years.
Working with other councils, Rochdale put together proposals for the Northern Gateway, a collection of sites along the M62 motorway which will be one of four major growth areas in the region.
The Northern Gateway is the biggest growth opportunity in Greater Manchester and will radically change the economic landscape of the borough, providing a major new growth area in the north of Greater Manchester that will attract national and international businesses.
'By extending existing business parks and creating urban extensions, the spatial framework plans could create 19,000 jobs and 15,500 homes in Rochdale alone'
The leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Richard Farnell, said the new timetable for the framework would not hinder the council’s own ambitious growth strategy.
Councillor Farnell added: “We will ensure that the importance of the Northern Gateway remains a major element of the framework but at the same time we are continuing to work on our own ambitious growth plans. There is still plenty of work being done that is helping to bolster Rochdale’s growing reputation as one of Greater Manchester’s biggest opportunities. We must continue to ensure that message is heard and capitalised on.”
Steve Rumbelow, the chief executive of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We already have an ambitious core strategy that will help us realise the growth that our borough can achieve without adversely affecting its reputation as one of the greenest and most attractive parts of the Greater Manchester region. We will continue to drive our plans forward and bring more jobs and investment to the borough of Rochdale.”
The council wants to press ahead with the major extensions of South Heywood Business Park – which is already the subject of increasing interest and demand from companies seeking to take advantage of the borough’s unique position.
Land at Kingsway Business Park – one of the biggest and most successful business parks in the country – is being also being developed.
The council is also pressing ahead with land allocations planning to encourage further development on brownfield sites, to ensure that Rochdale remains Greater Manchester’s greenest borough.
Rochdale has attracted a raft of new businesses in recent years and still intends to create more new jobs and new, better housing, including affordable homes.