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Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

We are working together to produce a joint plan to manage the supply of land for jobs and new homes across Greater Manchester. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) will ensure that we have the right land in the right places to deliver the homes and jobs we need up to 2035, along with identifying the new infrastructure (such as roads, rail, Metrolink and utility networks) required to achieve this.

It will be the overarching development plan within which Greater Manchester’s ten local planning authorities can identify more detailed sites for jobs and homes in their own area. As such, the GMSF will not cover everything that a local plan would cover and individual districts will continue to produce their own local plans.

Importantly, the GMSF will address the environmental capacity of Greater Manchester, setting out how we enhance and protect the quality of the natural environment, conserve wildlife and tackle low carbon and flood risk issues, so that we can accommodate growth sustainably. Alongside the GMSF, we are also developing an integrated appraisal framework (including a strategic environmental assessment, sustainability appraisal, health impact assessment and equality impact assessment) to ensure we understand the impacts of decisions and agree the best policies for Greater Manchester.

Formal consultation on the first draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has now ended. The consultation period ran from 31 October 2016 to 16 January 2017. All comments received during this period will be considered and used to inform how the plan is taken forward. If you would like to know more about the GMSF and stay informed please visit for further information. 

Key milestones include:

The announcement in November 2014 of the Greater Manchester Agreement, and the move to a directly elected mayor for Greater Manchester, has implications for both the preparation and content of the GMSF. The agreement will give the directly elected mayor powers over strategic planning, including the power to create a statutory spatial framework (with a unanimous vote of the Mayor’s cabinet). Legislation is required to enable these changes and it is anticipated that the first elections will take place in early 2017.

It will require a seamless transition from the preparation of a joint development plan to the GMSF produced by GM Mayor/GMCA and the later stages of the GMSF will be reviewed once precise details of the mayoral powers are determined.

For more information, follow us on Twitter, @GMSpatialFrame or find out more at and on Making Places: Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework.

If you would like to stay informed about the GMSF and be notified when we have further consultation exercises, please register your name and details on the GMSF consultation portal and click on the login/register option. You will be able to self register on the GMSF database (with just a few questions on your contact details) so that you receive information and updates as they become available.