Salford’s City Mayor has demanded that the city’s most valuable green spaces are protected amid reports that the council may have to find space for 30,000 new homes.
City Mayor Mr Paul Dennett has written to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio holder, Councillor Richard Farnell of Rochdale, seeking assurances that key green spaces in the city will not be touched by new housing proposals.
In the letter he stressed the importance of restoration of Mosslands between the M62 and the Bridgewater Canal and the potential to make the rich wildlife of the moss more accessible by linking it to the proposed RHS Bridgewater.
He also set out Salford’s intention to strengthen the planning policies to protect the Worsley Greenway, create a new country park at Swinton sewage works and improve the green spaces along the River Irwell.
The Mayor has also stressed the need to protect upland areas and look at their potential for ‘slow the flow’ initiatives which would reduce river flows into Salford and thus reduce flood risk.
It’s been sent as Councillor Farnell is leading on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – the plan due for publication in October. This will set out how Greater Manchester will set aside land for homes and jobs to meet the forecast growth.
City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I welcome this piece of work to find the right spaces in Greater Manchester for development but Salford’s most valuable green spaces must not suffer.
“Chat Moss is a peat bog which is a hotspot for unique and rare species of wildlife and it must not be damaged.
“The Wildlife Trust is doing all they can to restore the area which has been damaged by peat extraction for horticulture; drainage and conversion to agriculture; forestry and development.
“And the Worsley Greenway is greenfield land that we have had to fight to protect from development. There is plenty of land available in Greater Manchester and, indeed, Salford, without taking away our most valuable green spaces.”