WHEN the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was launched in 2016, there was plenty of speculation and controversy about what it would mean for towns like Bury.

The original draft had 12,000 homes earmarked for Bury’s share of the 200,000 to be built in the region over the next 20 years to accommodate the predicted population increase of 300,000.

The contentious issue about the plan was that there were not enough brownfield sites to accommodate the homes and areas of green belt land were being put forward for possible development.

Developers and land owners came forward to suggest land for development and, after evaluating the submissions, Bury Council put forward its draft proposal, which also included a huge employment area on land to the east of the M66 towards Heywood.

The plan was a collaboration between the 10 Greater Manchester authorities with developments strategically located to benefit the region and not impose too heavily on any particular area.

But there were protests against the plans, with people against the idea of greenfield sites being developed.

The scheme was put on hold and taken back to the drawing board by GM mayor Andy Burnham.

Now, with the revised framework due next year, authorities such are Bury are laying the foundations for the future.

Chief officer Geoff Little told Bury CCG last week that the borough’s health improvement must also be included along with house building and employment areas.

It is hoped a healthier area will also result in economic growth and prosperity.

When the spatial framework consultation returns, it is vital that there is a unified and co-ordinated approach to all aspects of development in the next 20 years. Not everyone will be happy with the outcome, but it is vital they have their say.