MORE than 12,000 homes could be built in the borough if new proposals get the green light.

Developers have suggested 70 major construction projects — including one for 2,400 homes — as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) plan.

Of these, 26 sites are on green-belt land.

Some of the firms said work could potentially begin immediately in some areas if the GMSF removes existing legal barriers.

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The proposals have drawn criticism from campaigners wanting to protect the borough’s green spaces.

One senior councillor, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “People will be horrified when they see this.”

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which brings together the county’s 10 local councils, is leading the GMSF process to identify appropriate land for homes that could be built before 2035.

GMCA asked developers to say what could potentially be built in a ‘call for sites’ project and developers submitted proposals for 70 sites across Bury.

In 34 projects, they state the number of properties proposed on particular sites, totalling 12,701 homes.

No specific figures were given for the other 36 projects.

The 70 projects were submitted before the end of February, and other plans that have been suggested since then are still to be published.

In a letter to councillors, Bury Council assistant director for localities David Fowler said: “The status of these sites has not changed.

“Decisions on whether such sites will, or will not, be supported will be made when draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is produced for public consultation in October.

“Local people and others will also be able to comment on these sites as part of a wider plan.

“In the meantime, all of the sites proposed through the call for sites are being assessed by local planning teams, who are looking at (a number of issues) to consider whether they could be appropriate for development and help inform the GMSF.”

The list shows that Turley Associates suggested building 2,400 homes, along with shops, on land south of Bolton Road and west of Elton Reservoir

The submission added: “There is a strong market demand for housing within Bury and there are no major obstacles to construction and the site could start to come forward within five years, subject to release from the greenbelt.

“Given the large area of the site, the layout of the development can be sensitively designed so as to take into consideration (wildlife habitats)

“In relation to heritage assets, two Grade 2 listed buildings are located within the site.”

These are the early 18th-century Old Farmhouse and the gate piers to the north west of the farmhouse.

Turley said an Elton Parkland prospectus was published in January to examine “constraints and opportunities” at the site “and how these can be accommodated within a sustainable development proposal, which seeks to enhance the quality of both the natural and built environment.”

Carter Jonas suggests building 1,000 homes on greenbelt land south of Bolton Road and the former railway line.

Its submission says some homes would be sold at 80 per cent of the market rate.

“The site would include significant areas of greenspace, including public open space and wildlife habitats. The site could be delivered (before 2035),” the submission said.

The same company has suggested building 1,000 homes on greenbelt land north of Bury Road near Starling.

“The site us surrounded by residential development on three sides,” its submission said.

Carter Jones suggested building 1,264 homes on greenbelt land east of Heywood Old Road, near the eastern boundary with Simister.

It said: “These would be a mixture of open market, affordable and starter homes. This is an attractive location.

“This site could come forward immediately. There are no constraints on the site that would hinder its deliverability,”

Molesworth Estates has suggested building between 500 and 1,000 homes off Cams Lane, Radcliffe.

It said: “It is additionally considered that there will be mutual benefit to the local authority, as potential redevelopment of parts of the adjacent Cams Lane Primary school could be funded out of the development.”

Three of the suggestions relate to land to the north and south of Simister Lane, Simister.

Carter Jonas suggests a total of 1,134 homes could be built on the land and that work could potentially start immediate.

A decision on the GMSF will be made in 2018 after the public consultation, though developers could submit planning applications on individual projects in the mean time.