THE Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has been approved for consultation.

It was approved at a joint Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) executive board meeting at Trafford Town Hall, on Friday January 11.

An eight-week consultation period has been set between Monday January 21 and Monday March 18.

According to the latest draft of the plan, the net loss to green belt land has been cut by 40 per cent.

A large portion of this land will form part of the Northern Gateway industrial site which has itself been subject to a reduction of green belt allocation.

Speaking at the meeting, leader of Bury Council, Councillor Rishi Shori praised the “radically re-written” draft.

He said: "I have to congratulate the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett for this second draft and I have to say that without doubt it has been radically re-written.

“My borough is one of those which does not have a great amount of brownfield land but if this plan were to be accepted, it would mean that 88 per cent of Bury’s greenbelt land would be protected and would remain protected for generations to come.

“We will have to make difficult decisions and I know certain residents will have their concerns but I hope they see that since the first draft we have listened and we will listen again.

“But I think at least now, we have a very clear, comprehensive plan which helps maintain the environment which makes Bury one of the best places to live in the North West.”