A MUCH-delayed masterplan for building new homes and creating jobs which is set to release green belt land for development in Bury has been published.

Places for Everyone, formed by nine out of the 10 Greater Manchester’s boroughs, will set out what land can be freed up for different kinds of development over the next 16 years.

This replaces the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), abandoned last year after it failed to win the support of Stockport Council.

The plans for Bury, which remains similar to the previous draft of the GMSF, include a massive housing project at Elton Reservoir, where 3,500 homes are planned.

Key to that development there would be a strategic north-south spine road connecting the A58 Bury and Bolton Road to Bury Road.

Another huge housing allocation is at Walshaw where the plans include 1,250 new homes. A third housing allocation is in the Simister/Bowlee area where there is provision for 1,550 new homes.

The plans in Simister have been scaled back from previous versions and the village itself will all remain in the green belt.

But three councillors who represent the village put out statement saying they vehemently oppose the plans.

Cllrs Tim Pickstone, Steve Wright and Cristina Tegolo said: “We are fully supportive of the local residents and are against the Places For Everyone scheme.

“We have immediate concerns about housing affordability and losing for good the ‘openness’ around Simister village and our long term concern of making sure that the ‘green finger’, no longer green belt around Simister, will be preserved to stop urban sprawl in the future.”

The plan also includes the Northern Gateway employment site which will be created in the Pilsworth/Heywood area.The plan claims that development could create up to 20,000 new jobs.

Bury’s Labour run cabinet is set to back the plans next week before the full council debates the matter on Wednesday, July 28.

Subject to the support of the councillors representing Bury and all the other individual local authorities the plan will then go to a public consultation from August 9.

Ultimately to go forward, it will then need to be approved by central government.

Like its predecessor, Places for Everyone will consider building on the green belt, which is the main point of contention amongst objectors, including Bury’s opposition Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors and pressure groups such as Bury Folk Keep It Green, who boast more than 10,000 members and have stated they are likely to form a legal challenge if the plans proceed.

Borough Tory leader Cllr Nick Jones said his members had been contacted by thousands of constituents opposed to the plans and his group would be voting against the plan.

He said: “Our position is clear. We must protect the green belt for future generations. These allocations are vastly out of scale for our towns and villages.

“The Labour-led Bury Council is proposing to build on green belt sites and destroy irreplaceable natural environments.”

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham said the impact of green belt development will be reduced by 60 per cent compared to the 2016 version of the GMSF.

He said: “We are still bound by government housing targets and we have to work within that framework. But we’ve done a huge amount to listen to what people have told us and to remove green belt sites from the plan as much as we are able to."