THE much-delayed Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is set to see the public asked again their opinions on housing policy and proposed huge new commercial and industrial developments in Bolton.

The plan, designed to deliver 26.5M sq ft of new commercial floorspace and 201,000 new homes throughout the city region, has seen six years of on-off preparation.

However, after months of inactivity, it is now set to return for another round of consultation.

A number of government interventions to the project, which sets out an integrated approach to development, homes and the environment in all 10 Manchester boroughs, have caused repeated delays and rethinks.

An earlier consultation closed in March 2019.

The executives of all 10 councils are being asked to approve the ‘ final stage of public consultation’ this month.

A 2019 draft of the GMSF showed no green land being used to build around 13,940 homes in Bolton.

From 2024 to 2037 the target for the number of new homes built in the borough would be around 800 per year, a significant increase on the current 520 per annum target.

Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh said the authority was in support of the GMSF.

He said: “We are still supportive of the latest draft because we still think Bolton has a very good deal going forward compared to other local authorities.”

In terms of commercial and industrial development in Bolton borough, the two largest sites in the plan are in the Westhoughton area.

Land west of Wingates could provide a location for around 440,000sqm of floorspace for large scale distribution and advanced manufacturing.

That project would include a link road from the A6 to Westhoughton.

Chequerbent North, a green field site very close to the M61 junction would provide a location for around 25,000sqm of floorspace.

It would be accessed from the A6, with a potential additional access via Snydale Way.

One of the central themes of the document is a clean air plan which will involve more cycling and walking, and a reduction in road traffic.

If all 10 councils agree to a new timetable in the next couple of weeks, public consultation should start by November.

A Greater Manchester Combined Authority spokesman said: “The spatial framework will create the space for Greater Manchester to deliver its ambitious

growth plans over the next two decades.

“There will be space for thousands of new jobs and the right homes in the right places, so that everyone can live

in well-connected and environmentally sustainable villages, towns and cities.”