Places for Everyone

“This plan provides the strategic thinking at scale which is needed to preserve open spaces and enable the delivery of green and blue infrastructure, parkland and significant biodiversity net gains.”
Mark Graham, Director, LDA Design

Nine Greater Manchester local authorities have achieved what at times might have seemed impossible. The councils of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan have adopted a spatial plan for development over the next 15 years.

Places for Everyone establishes an ambitious plan for sustainable growth for them all, with much-needed homes as the major driver. It has been ten years in the making and during that time, the crises for climate and nature loss have accelerated, as has social inequity, and so working together is more valuable than ever.

This strategic approach means that a clear vision which prioritises people can be realised, regardless of politically drawn boundaries. It has helped to identify the best locations for new homes, and how to best integrate new infrastructure such as transport. The approach breaks through silos, embeds collaboration into future development, and provides confidence in the delivery process for investors.

The Plan includes opportunity for up to 165,000 homes across Greater Manchester. Job creation too can be planned for and upskilling supported across the boroughs, with two million sqm office floorspace and over 3.3 million sqm industrial and warehousing floorspace also part of the framework. Development will make the most of brownfield land, generally well sited for regeneration and investment.

Plans for Ashton Moss West with Tameside Council, allocated by Places for Everyone for significant growth and supported by LDA Design, will create jobs in advanced manufacturing and industrial sectors. Ambitious plans for Atom Valley, a cluster of sites across Bury, Oldham and Rochdale, could create more than 20,000 jobs.

With places like Trafford, Salford and Manchester city centre continuing to see high levels of growth, the challenge now is to ensure that quality is intrinsic to the building of new homes, new public realm and the making of new places. This means green infrastructure driving the change that communities across Greater Manchester need to see. LDA Design has been working with architects Hawkins Brown on a new framework to unlock the residential potential of Trafford Wharfside, for example, with a 2.5-acre linear public park giving easy access to nature so it becomes a great place to live.

Mark Graham, LDA Design studio lead for Manchester, believes the region needs to keep thinking big to fully grasp the opportunities Places for Everyone affords. “This is about creating thriving and healthy communities where the housing is distinctive and place specific, and all you need is on the doorstep, including good jobs.

“This plan provides the strategic thinking at scale which is needed to preserve open spaces and enable the delivery of green and blue infrastructure, parkland and significant biodiversity net gains. What’s required now is a single cohesive spatial landscape-led vision, akin to the Copenhagen Finger Plan, which means nature and recreation underpins growth and reaches deep into each place, including the city of Manchester.”

Dating from 1947, the Copenhagen Finger Plan has underpinned the city’s growth with sustainable public transport corridors separated out by rich green corridors, bringing nature deep into Copenhagen. It was updated in 2007 and is legally binding.

For more on the opportunities Places for Everyone creates, please contact Susie Byrne or Mark Graham.

Image: Vision for St Petersfield, part of a new Mayoral Development Zone in Ashton, Tameside. Masterplan by LDA Design, image by Marvin Chik with LDA Design.

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