£50 million Godley Green benefit revealed

THE CONTROVERSIAL Godley Green Garden Village development can bring a £50 million boost to the economy of Hyde, Tameside Council claims.

And a school is also part of the plan.

Battle lines are drawn over the scheme, which will see more than 2,300 houses built on what is currently part of the borough’s green belt.

Opponents believe it will choke the Hyde area and flood the town’s current infrastructure.

Artists impression- Godley Green Garden Village

However, Tameside Council insists that its way of doing it is better than letting private developers do it, as that would mean more than 4,000 homes being put in.

And Cllr Ged Cooney, Tameside Council’s executive member for housing, planning an employment, spelled out the benefits and took aim at the naysayers.

He said in reply to Hyde Werneth councillor Phil Chadwick: “This actual plan in Godley Green will have an overspill of up to £50 million in the Hyde area. You want to reject it, you don’t think Hyde should benefit.

“That’s the reality of the development and its impact on Hyde town centre. You’ve got to be a fool to say, ‘I don’t want that investment in Hyde.’

Cllr Ged Cooney -Tameside Council’s executive member for housing

“For anyone saying, ‘I don’t want that, we want to stay where we are.’ What do you want, horse and carts?

“Population is growing and the Government is telling us, ‘You’ve got to build houses.’ We’re saying, ‘We also need spaces for jobs. We also need to provide schools when they’re being done. We also need to talk about transport.’”

Many of Godley Green’s opponents have targeted Tameside Council leader Cllr Brenda Warrington as the villain.

Indeed at a full council meeting on Tuesday, July 20, Stalybridge South Conservative Cllr Liam Billington made an address wearing a ‘Brenda the Bulldozer’ t-shirt!

Godley Green is part of the newly-named Places for Everyone scheme, which replaced the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework when Stockport Council pulled out.

In total across Greater Manchester’s other nine boroughs, 3.3 per cent of the green belt will be lost as new houses are being built, as well as areas for new business.

At least 1,900,000 sq m of new office floorspace and 3,330,000 sq m of industrial and warehousing floorspace is also planned.

Tameside’s Conservatives argue brownfield sites and currently unused buildings should be the focus.

But Councillor Cooney countered suggestions it is all about cramming people in, adding: “We can’t keep trying to find some plot of grass that’s four metres squared and build a housing estate on it, it isn’t going to happen.

“I will not support that we build more houses on some bit of grass here.

“The plan itself is not just about housing, never has been and never will be. It’s about transport, it’s about job creation. My grandson’s off to university in Cambridge. I want him to come back here and have a job.”

He also took aim at those who do not want Hyde to be touched by the Places for Everyone scheme.

He continued: “You don’t want it there because it’s just about housing.

“What you’re saying is, ‘I don’t want jobs either in Hyde. I don’t want a new transport system in Hyde.

The new Places for Everyone plan attracted criticism from Conservative councillor Liam Billington

“’I want to stay where we are, shut some barrier around Hyde and say, ‘Stay out of Hyde everyone, you’re not wanted. I don’t want you to vote for the future of Hyde. I want to draw a line around it and keep everyone out unless they’ve got Hyde stamped on their head or somewhere.’

“It isn’t going to happen. The world moves on.”

The new Places for Everyone plan attracted criticism from Conservative councillor Liam Billington, even because of its name.

He also described the report as ‘utterly humiliating’ for the council, saying: “Places for Everyone is a master stroke in branding from the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham.

“By calling it Places for Everyone it turns it into an emotive subject and a simplifies building over our green belt.

Godley Green

“I’ve read the Places for Everyone document and it’s utterly humiliating for Tameside. It states Tameside is predicted to lose yet more jobs in the borough.

“Tameside has the lowest job density of any borough in Greater Manchester. To say that in 20 years’ time this will continue to fall is the abject failure of the cabinet member for finance and growth along with his department to attract the skilled jobs and investment this borough needs.

“In the Places of Everyone Report it states how 71 per cent of people in Tameside travel into work – the highest in Greater Manchester.

“The answer to these problems is to build and regenerate our town centres. Stalybridge as an example has excellent rail links going through towards Leeds and Manchester.

“In 2010 we ranked 320 out of 379 boroughs for prosperity. That’s bad. So how on Earth have we slid further down to 369 – being in the bottom 10 for the entire UK?”

3 Replies to “£50 million Godley Green benefit revealed”

  1. Councillor Clooney, As a resident of Hyde I had along with many others access to the numerous Zoom meetings held to inform people of the plans and design for the Godley Green proposal for 2500 dwellings. This was delivered by, I assume, a marketing company who were obviously given access to all the detail surrounding this proposal. I am unfamiliar with the costs that proceeding with that approach will have been but assume that it would be significant.
    Therefore, may I ask why at this stage you are introducing further detail as an additional incentive by you to further support the original concept.
    It is, judging from the level of protest to this development and that, that you must be aware of, be fairly obvious that suggesting that it may be put out to builders as an alternative to the original TMBC proposal be the subject for dispute.
    My issues are with the area of land being changed from greenbelt, the lack of educational, healthcare and transport provision within the immediate area followed by the negative effect on air quality both in Hyde and the surrounding areas.
    Most of these issues were raised during the Zoom meetings during the original presentations. None were adequately addressed by the council or other representatives present then or since.
    My view of this entire proposal is one of inevitability, in part seemingly due to a complete lack of good communication other than statements by council leader of the fact that it WILL happen. A lack of answers to some fairly basic but important questions made at the outset.
    Now we have available your view of the future of Hyde and surrounding districts
    Surely as an elected representative even you can appreciate the feelings that those most affected by both the original proposal and now your additional overview of the catastrophic consequences of this development not proceeding.
    My overview is that the plans and presentation and benefits of the populace agreeing to this development have been collated and said populace being fed that presentation along with an opportunity to ask questions to which a satisfactory response would be forthcoming.
    WRONG it did not happen. Questions and concerns of a perfectly legitimate nature have not been answered, indeed seem to have been lost in the rush to advise everyone that ” It is going to happen” .
    So forgive my scepticism of most statements that emanate from TMBC including without evidence to the contrary your fine effort. Author Harvey Beeley

  2. Totally disgusted that there would be a housing development on greenbelt. What about “Green Space for everyone.” More cars and less space. Thanks again to the council for not listening to their voters.

  3. Once the green belt has gone it’s gone for good. Far to many empty buildings in Hyde enter and I can’t see we’re the jobs are going to as predicted. Will the council tax generated really go to worth while projects to regenerate the town centre? Those already there seem to be struggling. Just look at at the turn around of failed business on the high st.
    Sorry Green belt land especially that as beautiful as the area in question is unforgivable ??

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