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Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

We’re working with 9 other local authorities in Greater Manchester to create a joint spatial framework. The framework is a plan which identifies how we'll use land across Greater Manchester up to 2037, including land for homes, employment space and infrastructure we need to boost economic growth and cater for our growing population.

The proposals also aim to ensure housing and employment opportunities are spread more evenly across Greater Manchester and that boroughs like Rochdale don’t lag behind their counterparts in the south of the region. The regeneration opportunities outlined in the framework aim to boost the prosperity of Greater Manchester and make it one of the best places in the world to live and work.

View the draft spatial framework

The draft plan and all supporting information can be found on Greater Manchester Combined Authority's website.

Comment on the draft spatial framework

The final consultation of Greater Manchester’s Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment (the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Publication Plan 2020) will be considered by each council during December 2020. If the plan is approved by all 10 councils, a final consultation will then start. We'll update this page once we've confirmation of when the consultation will start.

Before the consultation, the plan will go to the AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) Executive Board on Friday, 30 October 2020 and then subsequently to the 10 Greater Manchester Councils for approval.

This is the final consultation before the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State for examination , and it is more technical that previous rounds. The Government requires us to ask people whether our plans, and the evidence on which they are based, meet national planning law requirements – these are called the “tests of soundness”. This is what we will be consulting on and this will be clearly explained in the consultation.

Comment on the draft spatial framework in the final consultation from 1 December 2020

Questions you'll be asked in the final consultation

The final consultation will only ask you answer the following 4 questions:

  • Does it promote economic growth and make provision for homes, employment and infrastructure – is it positively prepared?
  • Have we considered other policies and based our approach on the most up to date and robust evidence – have we justified it?
  • Can the policies included be achieved within the plan period and are they based on effective joint working with other neighbouring authorities? Is it effective?
  • Are the policies consistent with those at a national level outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)?

Responses from the 2019 consultation

View a list of all consultation responses - this list includes all the online responses, letters and emails. However, you can't search for a particular response on this website.

Benefits of the spatial framework for Rochdale borough

The spatial framework aims to have a number of benefits for Rochdale borough. This includes:

  • Over 10,500 new homes and 11,000 new jobs
  • Opportunities for new business development
  • 720,000 square metres of new employment space
  • Developing infrastructure
  • Creating 155 hectares of new green belt
  • Gaining an additional £15 million in Council Tax revenue and an additional £9 million in Business Rates revenue from new homes and employment sites

Changes to the spatial framework since the first draft

We've made some changes to the spatial framework following 2 public consultations in 2016 and 2019. Here are some of the main changes we've made.

  • Reduced the proportion of green belt sites proposed for development in the borough from 62.8% to 58.2%. The latest proposals will see the green belt reduced by just 2.5% to 60.3%.
  • The Kingsway South allocation in Rochdale, which proposed 182 homes and 130,980 square metres of employment space on land south of junction 21, has now been removed from the plan, retaining 80 hectares of Green Belt.
  • We’ve identified a potential residential relief road between Smithy Bridge Road and Albert Royds Street to address traffic issues and support delivery of new homes in this part of the borough.
  • The number of homes at the Northern Gateway site, junctions 18 and 19 of the M62 , has reduced from 1,600 to 1,200 and the employment space has reduced from 600,000 square metres to 350,000 square metres.
  • The number of new homes proposed at the Stakehill site has increased from 900 to 1,680. The employment space has reduced from 100,000 square metres to 35,000 square metres.
  • The proposal for Trows Farm in Castleton is now for the creation of around 550 new homes, previously 360, with an alternative site for a new primary school in Castleton identified.
  • The number of homes proposed for the Roch Valley, close to Smithy Bridge railway station, has reduced slightly, from 210 to 200 new homes.

As a result, if all the sites in this draft plan are developed, Rochdale borough will still have more green belt than any other borough in Greater Manchester.

Proposed development sites listed in the spatial framework

You can view the main proposed development sites in the borough and a summary of our proposed use for the site below. View the entire Greater Manchester Spatial Framework for more detailed summaries and maps of the areas.

  • The Northern Gateway: land between junctions 18 and 19 of the M62 motorway, close to Heywood Distribution Park. The strategy proposes using this area for the creation of 1,200 new homes over 350,000 sq metres of new employment space. The site will be served by a new 2.2km link road from junction 19 of the M62. A new rail connection could also be developed from Heywood to Bury via Castleton, alongside the extension of the tram to Middleton. New bus links would connect the site with Heywood, Bury, Middleton, Rochdale and Manchester city centre.
  • Stakehill Business Park: 1,680 new homes and around 35,000 square metres of employment space close to the Stakehill roundabout. There are also proposals for additional school place provision at Thornham St John’s Primary School and a potential new railway station at Slattocks. A section of Green Belt will be retained through the centre of the site.
  • Bamford and Norden: proposals for this area have been scaled back to around 450 high quality homes off Bamford Road. Sports facilities in the area will be retained and significantly improved, using contributions from the development.
  • Crimble Mill: 250 high quality new homes and the restoration of the grade II listed Crimble Mill. The proposals also include enhanced recreational open space and land for the expansion of All Soul’s Primary School. 
  • Castleton Sidings: 125 new homes, alongside improvements to open space around Castleton railway station. Land has also been earmarked as part of this scheme to enable the extension of the East Lancs Railway into Castleton.
  • Newhey Quarry: this allocation proposes the delivery of up to 250 new homes, with additional parking facilities close to Newhey Metrolink stop. 
  • Land North East of Smithy Bridge: proposals for this site, which adjoins the former Akzo Nobel site, off Hollingworth Road, include around 300 new homes and a new primary school. The proposal will also create improved pedestrian links and deliver improved visitor parking in the area to serve Hollingworth Lake Country Park. 
  • Trows Farm, Castleton: this proposal is for the creation of around 550 new homes, on land south of Crown Business Park and contributes to a new primary school to serve Castleton. New walking and cycling routes will also be delivered as part of this allocation.
  • Land in the Roch Valley: delivery of 200 new homes close to Smithy Bridge Railway Station. This allocation will also support the delivery of a new residential relief road between Smithy Bridge Road and Albert Royds Street and make contributions to support new local school places.

Brownfield sites for development within the borough

We’ve worked hard to propose as many brownfield sites as possible to help reduce the pressure on the greenbelt and repurpose derelict sites across the borough.

To do this we've:

  • Redeveloped a number of brownfield sites, including land at Durham Street, Lincoln Street, Albert Royds Street and Entwistle Road, which together have created over 240 new homes for affordable rent
  • Progressed plans to create over 200 new apartments in Rochdale town centre as part of the Rochdale Riverside phase 2 project, with construction set to start in spring 2020
  • Set out plans to work with Capital and Centric and Wilmott Dixon to create a new neighbourhood of more than 200 new homes at the former Central Retail Park site (currently derelict) in Drake Street, Rochdale town centre
  • Formed a unique alliance with Network Rail and others to support the delivery of new homes around the borough’s 5 railway stations as part of our new rail strategy. We’ve already identified a number of derelict sites which could be developed over the next 10 years as part of this strategy
  • Prepared residential masterplans for Rochdale, Middleton, Heywood and Littleborough as part of our aim to identify land for 2,000 new homes in our principal town centres
  • Secured £1.65 million of external funding to remediate a major brownfield site in Castleton to enable the creation of 225 new homes
  • Lobbied Homes England to push forward the development of a number of derelict sites in their ownership, including the former Carcraft site at Nixon Street in Castleton (for affordable homes) and the former Akzo Nobel site in Littleborough

More about brownfield sites in the borough

Funding for infrastructure improvements

Since the last consultation in 2019 we’ve also secured millions of pounds in external funding to support major infrastructure improvements across the borough.

Many of these will support the developments proposed in the spatial framework.

  • £23 million for the delivery of a new link road at Heywood, just off junction 19 of the M62
  • £3.5 million for the delivery of a new loop road within Kingsway Business Park
  • £11.5 million for the construction of a brand new cycle lane between Castleton and Rochdale town centre
  • £500,000 to further develop proposals to extend the tram network to Heywood
  • Almost £30 million of government funding has been committed for major flood defence schemes across the borough to protect homes, business and infrastructure

Related pages


01706 924252

Phone: Monday-Friday 9.15am-5.15pm.

Strategic Planning
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU