Government give green light for Godley Green Garden Village

APPROVING the controversial Godley Green Garden Village scheme has been given the all clear by the Government.

Tameside Council decided to progress an outline application to build 2,150 homes on green belt land off Mottram Old Road – split over eastern and western sites – on condition it be referred to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove.

Now in a letter seen by The Correspondent, his office has said it will not call in that decision.

As a result, a detailed plan will be drawn up before going to Tameside Council’s Speaker’s Panel (Planning) committee.

The letter, from Maria Bowen, senior planning technical officer in the planning casework unit – just eight days after the initial decision – says: “The Secretary of State has carefully considered the case against call-in policy, as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on October 26, 2012.

Views over the Godley Green land planned for development

“The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively.

“The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.

“In deciding whether to call in this application, the Secretary of State has considered his policy on calling in planning applications.

“This policy gives examples of the types of issues which may lead him to conclude, in his opinion that the application should be called in.

“The Secretary of State has decided not to call in this application. He is content that it should be determined by the local planning authority.

“In considering whether to exercise the discretion to call in this application, the Secretary of State has not considered the matter of whether this application is EIA Development for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.

“The local planning authority responsible for determining this application remains the relevant authority responsible for considering whether these regulations apply to this proposed development and, if so, for ensuring that the requirements of the regulations are complied with.”

This decision is sure to anger opponents of Godley Green, many of whom spoke at the planning meeting on November 1.

Hyde Godley Councillor Andrea Colbourne said: “It’s not what I would class as a village, more a massive overspill housing estate.

“These are the wrong houses in the wrong place. There’s no infrastructure at present to allow this development to go ahead.

“With 2,150 homes bringing in an extra 5,000-9,000 residents, how on Earth will GP surgeries cope with the extra appointments, along with dentists and hospitals?

Godley Green

“A garden village is supposed to be self-sufficient but in the same breath, Tameside Council is saying the residents will be Hyde town centre’s new customers.

“It’s either a garden village or it’s not.”

Protestors made their feelings clear outside the meeting at Tony Downes House in Droylsden after 4,205 letters of objection and a petition of 4,459 signatures against the development were lodged.

And Claire Elliott, of the Save Tameside Greenbelt group, hit out at a ‘green belt grab.’

She said: “Will you be able to look our children in the eye and say, ‘It was worth it?’

“It is a vanity project intended to raise council tax revenue.

“And as I work at Godley Stud Riding School, I see the joy it brings. It would kill me to explain to those children that we would be no more.”

Others told of the ‘negative effect’ Godley Green will have on those who currently live there, saying to panel members: “The good does not outweigh this substantial harm. We need a solution that suits all the people in Tameside, not just the council coffers. Listen to your hearts and minds.

“Godley Green cleans the air for Tameside, Godley Green is Tameside’s lungs. It’s not just about saving the environment, it’s also about saving Tameside.”

Tameside Council, which is making the application, believes Godley Green Garden Village will benefit the area.

Planning officer Steven Kirkham said: “It’s not disputed the development would permanently transform the landscape but Godley Green would make a strategic contribution to our housing requirement.”

Hyde Werneth Councillor Jim Fitzpatrick added: “This development will deliver the housing Tameside desperately needs. It’s not just about Godley, it’s about Tameside.

“We desperately need to change the way we have Tameside. This is a strategic development for Tameside with much-needed houses that we need.”

Now the Government has said Tameside Council’s decision can stand, work will now begin on the detailed proposal.

Councillor Jack Naylor, Executive Member for Inclusive Growth, Business and Employment told The Correspondent:

“We welcome the decision by the Conservative Secretary of State Michael Gove to add his approval to the Godley Green Garden Village outline application & not put the determination of Speakers Panel (Planning) through a lengthy & expensive inquiry.

Godley Green Garden Village is incredibly important to the future prosperity of not just Hyde but the whole of Tameside by delivering the homes we need for future generations.”

4 Replies to “Government give green light for Godley Green Garden Village”

  1. Government haven’t given any light let alone a green one. The officer making the decision as to whether to call it in or not said they are not calling it in and it will be entirely up to Tameside Authority. That’s a lot different than a green light and I don’t think a Minister has even seen it .

  2. The Tory government has the ability to stop this development , but will choose not to do so for political gain. They know that their local representatives will gain at the ballot box from this decision.

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