FULL details of a controversial garden village plan – dubbed a ‘green belt grab’ by opponents – see reduced speed limits on an existing main road, new bridges, a re-routed public path and a public inquiry.
Tameside Council has unveiled exactly what it wants for Godley Green, a proposal that has sparked many objections and protests.
And the scheme will go to the Secretary of State for Housing, with an inquiry expected late next year or early in 2023.
Among several parts of the 2,150-house plan are a primary school, sports facilities and local centres on the eastern, which will have 900, and western, with 1,250, sides of the village.
Other parts of infrastructure, including a medical centre and even a pub or wine bar are listed in the documents.
And of the 2,150 homes, 15 per cent – or 322 – will be classed as affordable housing, with exact numbers of properties of certain sizes listed.
Of those, 60 per cent, 193, will be put forward as affordable rental homes, with 129 as affordable home ownership.
Much has been made of the impact Godley Green will have on the area, but planning documents insist only 50 per cent of the available land will be developed.
Five existing buildings – Godley Stud Farm, several stable buildings to the north east of the site, Far Meadow Farm, stable buildings of Brookfold Farm and agricultural buildings of Greenside Farm – will be demolished.
One change if it gets the go ahead will see the speed limit on Mottram Old Road reduced to 30 miles per hour while others are also proposed.
Documents state: “Due to the topography of Godley Brook, there will be no vehicular connection between the western and eastern villages.
“However, there will be pedestrian and cycle connections to ensure a permeable development.
“In relation to the Trans-Pennine Trail, the Illustrative Masterplan suggests rerouting the trail through the provision of an off-road route within the site parallel to Mottram Old Road before heading north through the site to connect to the existing route.
“Green Lane will remain as a key green movement route. As part of the wider access and movement strategy, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge connection is proposed to Hattersley.
“The bridge will connect the development, via the eastern village, with Hattersley and is an important component of the movement and access strategy for the site.
“It is proposed that the bridge will span south-west to north-east over the existing Hattersley Station platform and railway tracks.
“The south-west approach to the bridge is anticipated to be located in the local village centre, whilst the north-east approach is anticipated to be located close to the station ticket office.”
News of the plans being revealed as part of an outline planning application saw opponents renew their protests.
Hyde’s Conservative councillors have spoken against it and many naysayers have even dubbed Tameside Council leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, Brenda the Bulldozer.
She said previously: “We will be going ahead with this project and I hope we’re able to succeed.
“And with the right support, Godley Green Garden Village can be more than just another housing scheme.
“It will be an example for others to follow, in Tameside and Greater Manchester.
“Local authorities have a responsibility to act and plan, not just for the present but for the generations to come.
“As part of that, we’re required by Government to have plans to build over 11,000 new homes over the next 17 years.
“No matter what is said, doing nothing is not an option. If we don’t come up with a plan for meeting our housing target, the Government will simply step in and do it for us.
“This will lead to a development free for all and more likely than not the loss of more of our precious green space in other areas.
“The consequences of not going ahead with Godley Green Garden Village, led by the council, means the site will probably come forward for development as part of the Government’s requirement to build new housing.
“But it will be in a very piecemeal way. This will mean no Green Village, no protection of green space, just developers developing housing plots at high density.
“We’ll also see the cherry picking areas. A free for all in its true sense. They’ve already made contact with land owners in Godley Green to explore opportunities to exploit the site.
“We’re fighting against that and trying to make this a reasonable development.”
To counter that, Claire Elliott, founder of Save Tameside Greenbelt, has accused Tameside Council of riding roughshod over residents.
“Why haven’t they listened to the communities so far and why would they listen now?” she said.
“Tameside can glory it all they want. It looks perfect on their website, but they are covering their eyes to the reality.
“There are lots of reasons not to build on this land, but Tameside Council is not listening to the people.”
Documents also listed the agencies that had been consulted – the Environment Agency, Highways England, Transport for Greater Manchester, Network Rail, Sport England, Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service, The Local Lead Flood Authority, Energy North West, United Utilities and Cadent Gas.
It adds: “Consultation events were attended by some 350 participants from a range of diverse backgrounds including local and regional residents, family households, retired people, economically active people, business owners, representatives of community organisations and councillors.
“The methods of engagement used were the most appropriate and best practice to obtain feedback effectively from a wide group of local residents, community interest groups, local business, local organisations and other local stakeholders.”
Tameside Council’s Speakers Panel (Planning) committee is set to decide whether to grant the outline application, the first step of the process.