The blueprint for the development of all but one borough of Greater Manchester over the next 15 years is on the brink of approval after a decade in the works.

Places for Everyone is almost approved after inspectors appointed by the secretary of state for Levelling Up brought an end to the examination of the proposal.

This examination of the proposal led to a number of alterations, or main modifications, most of them with the aim of clarity and consistency in the blueprint for the development of all but one borough after the withdrawal of Stockport Council from what was then the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework in 2020.

They went to a consultation last year and, last week, inspectors William Fieldhouse, Louise Gibbons and Steven Lee said Places for Everyone is "sound".

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A report said: "The local planning authorities requested that we recommend main modifications to make the plan sound and thereby capable of adoption. 

"We conclude that all legal requirements are met and that with the recommended main modifications set out in the appendix the Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document for Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan satisfies the requirements referred to in section 20(5)(a) of the [Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act] and is sound."

In Bolton, the proposal includes the removal of 205 hectares of land from the Green Belt across several sites – Bewshill Farm off Salford Road, Chequerbent North off Chequerbent Roundabout and West of Wingates off Chorley Road – all of them for commercial use.

The proposal includes the addition of less than 10 hectares of land at Knowles Farm, Horwich to the Green Belt, down from 65 hectares of land, after it was deemed there was not enough evidence to justify the inclusion of other parts of Knowles Farm, Horwich and Ditchers Farm, Westhoughton.

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Bolton Council and the others involved in Places for Everyone are to vote on its adoption at council meetings between now and March 20.

The details of these council meetings to be determined in due course according to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

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This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.