Agenda and draft minutes

Special Meeting, Place, Economic Growth and Environment Scrutiny Board - Tuesday, 26th September, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Peter Thompson 

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hince, Hindle and Williamson. Apologies were also received from Councillor Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Licensing.


Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair


There were no items of urgent business received.


Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


A question was received from Mr Matthew Broadbent:

Paragraph 2.18 of the public documents pack states "Whilst there are a large number of proposed modifications, including amending the plan period from 2020 to 2037 to 2022 to 2039, they do not change the overall Vision, Objectives and Spatial Strategy of the plan." However, the proposed modification to Policy JP-H 2 drops the commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes across Greater Manchester by 2037. Dropping this key policy commitment limits the ambitions, vision and objectives of the plan at a fundamental level. Whilst it is true that the Local Plans will be able to deliver some of the affordable housing, they will never be able to provide all of the 50,000 affordable homes since they amount to 30% of the overall housing target. Does the Council agree that Cabinet should not approve the modifications for consultation unless the policy to deliver 50,000 affordable homes is restored to the plan in its original form?

The commitment to deliver 50,000 affordable homes across Greater Manchester by 2037 is an ambition established in the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy.  Places for Everyone (PfE) would be just one part of the solution to meeting this ambition.  As a result, the Inspectors consider that it would not be justified to include these 50,000 affordable home targets in PfE policy.


Councillor McLaren, Chair of the Place, Economic Growth and Environment Scrutiny Board replied:

The modification to Policy JP-H2 has been proposed to provide clarity in terms of the meaning and implementation of the policy, providing a strategic framework for local plans in setting targets for affordable homes.  It does not undermine the 50,000 affordable home commitment, but recognises that not all affordable housing will be delivered through Section 106 agreements associated with new market housing.  A high proportion of affordable housing is delivered by Local Authorities, Registered Providers and through the use of Government funding.  This is likely to continue to be the case.  It is also worth pointing out that the reasoned justification accompanying Policy JP-H2 also includes a modification ensuring that the 50,000 affordable home ambition is included in PfE.

The consultation on the Inspectors’ proposed modifications to PfE would be just that – a consultation.  Therefore, it would not be appropriate to prevent the opportunity for the consultation to go ahead simply because of concerns over one proposed modification.  This would limit the ability for the public and stakeholders to comment on all the proposed modifications, and so limit the robustness of the Inspectors’ examination of PfE. 

If the consultation is allowed to go ahead with all modifications included, the Inspectors can then consider their proposed modifications in light of all the consultation comments and so consider if they should amend any of their proposed modifications or add further ones.  The Council will then be able to make a decision on whether to adopt the final modified PfE Plan with a full awareness of all views on the modifications and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Places for Everyone Plan: A Joint Development Plan Document for 9 Greater Manchester Local Authorities (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) - Proposed Modifications Consultation pdf icon PDF 366 KB

To scrutinise the Places for Everyone Plan: A Joint Development Plan Document for nine Greater Manchester Local Authorities (Places for Everyone Plan), prior to consideration by the Cabinet


The Scrutiny Board received a report of the Executive Director, Place and Economic Growth that provided members with an update on the progress of Places for Everyone Plan: A Joint Development Plan Document for nine Greater Manchester Local Authorities (Places for Everyone Plan) and to seek approval for proposed modifications to the plan.


The submitted report provided an update on the Places for Everyone (PfE) Plan and its independent examination. It was seeking approval from the Cabinet, on 2nd October 2023, for the PfE modifications (Main, Additional and those relating to the enclosed policies map), and associated supporting background documents, to be subject to a period of representations for eight weeks, commencing no earlier than 9th October 2023. A summary of what the modifications means for the overall aims of the Plan and Oldham was included within the report. Following the conclusion of the consultation, the Inspectors would consider all the representations made on the proposed Main Modifications (MM’s) before finalising the examination report and the schedule of recommended MMs.


It was reported that it was considered to be ‘normal’ for the outcome of a local plan examination to be that the Inspectors(s) recommend MMs to the plan, where necessary to make the plan sound and legally compliant. The Scrutiny Board was advised that as a matter of law a “MM” could only be made if it was necessary in order to make the Plan “sound”. The tests which are applied to determine whether a Plan is “sound” are those set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Therefore, legislation enables the Inspector to recommend a MM only if the plan would otherwise be unsound or legally non-compliant. The Inspector has no power to recommend other changes, even if they would improve the plan.


The meeting was advised that the Policies in the Plan would result in the overall extent of the nine authorities’ Green Belt land being reduced by 4.1%. the current Green Belt comprised almost 47% of the land covered by the nine authorities. The policies in the Plan would reduce this to just under 45% of the PfE authorities land area remaining as designated Green Belt.


For Oldham specifically the existing Green belt made up 56.1% of the borough (when excluding the area covered by the Peak District National Park) under PfE this would reduce to 54.7% of the borough.


Under the Plan the Oldham ‘Allocations’ would remain as follows:

a.    JPA2 Stakehill (cross boundary with Rochdale)

b.    JPA12 Beal Valley

c.    JPA13 Bottom Field Farm

d.    JPA14 Broadbent Moss (with a proposed change to the boundary)

e.    JPA15 Chew Brook Farm

f.     JPA16 Cowlishaw

g.    JPA17 Land south of Coal Pit Lane

h.    JPA18 South of Rosary Street (with a proposed change to the boundary)



1.    The Scrutiny Board notes the progress made in respect of the Places for Everyone Plan (PfE); and

2.    Agrees that the PfE modifications (Main, Additional and those relating to the policies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.