By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
HUNDREDS of acres of land in Tameside, including Stalybridge and Mossley, are set to be added into the green belt as part of the proposed masterplan for the region which will see new sites allocated for housing and employment.
The latest published draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has outlined a vision for how the 10 boroughs will evolve over the next 20 years, with a number of their green belt sites being released for development.
However, while the new proposals would allow building on green spaces, town halls have also put forward fresh sites to be given extra planning and environmental protection.
Compared to the 2016 draft, there are more than 20 times the number of sites that are earmarked to be added into the green belt.
The initial plans saw just three areas – West Salford Greenway, Rectory Lane in Standish, Wigan, and land within the Roch Valley in Rochdale – included.
This has now risen to 65 portions of land, with the majority located in the boroughs of Tameside and Bury, which have 17 and 14 respectively.
Tameside has got the lion’s share of the new allocations, with 140.4 hectares of newly allocated green belt land in the 2019 spatial framework.
These include four in Stalybridge, three in Denton, and two apiece in Mottram, Hyde, Mossley and Ashton Waterloo.
• Demesne Drive, Copley
Another large site, this time in Stalybridge has been put forward to be part of the new green belt allocation.
Situated off Demesne Drive, the 7.6 hectares is a mixture of green field and woodland behind Wild Bank Community School and joining onto the wider countryside at the edge of the Pennines.
• Ridge Hill Lane, Ridge Hill
This parcel of open land, measuring around 600 metres long and 6.8 hectares in total, runs off Ridge Hill Lane in the north, down to Cambridge Street at the southern point.
It is bordered on the west by housing estates and on the east is connected to countryside and farmland heading towards Heyrod.
• Long Row, Carrbrook
A popular walking and picnicking spot, Cowbury Green – off Long Row – is also marked down for green belt status.
The rectangular site of 1.8 hectares, which leads onto the reservoir and links to the climb to Cowbury Dale, also runs adjacent to Castle Lane and sits on the foothills of Saddleworth Moor.
During the moorland fires in the summer dozens of homes near to the site had to be evacuated during the height of the blaze – and satellite images show the moorland is still yet to recover.
• South View, Carrbrook
Near to Cowbury Green, land known as The Fold is also listed in the framework plans.
The 2.1 hectares, bordered by South View and Swallow Lane sits opposite the Duck Pond and is a popular site for dog walkers.
• Fox Platt
The large portion of land earmarked off Fox Platt in Mossley sits behind Livingstone Primary and Nursery School.
The Vale allotments also border the sloping hillside site of 7.9 hectares, which links into the green corridor of land between Tameside and Oldham, up to Springhead.
• Manchester Road
A smaller site of just 0.87 hectares which follows the westward bank of the River Tame, off Manchester Road has also been allocated for green belt. It sits directly south of a wood recycling plant and connects to the wider green spaces between Mossley and Carrbrook.
• Yew Tree Lane
Dukinfield Golf Course, off Yew Tree Lane, could also be given green belt protection in the latest framework draft.
Plans for 33 new homes next to the third tee of the course, yards away from the rough at the western edge, were submitted to Tameside Council last April.
But the new protection would make it almost impossible to develop the rest of the site, which measures 36 hectares and is the biggest amount of land earmarked.
The plans, including the new areas allocated for housing and employment space, are now open to public consultation.