Greater Manchester Spatial Framework - Greater Manchester's plan for homes, jobs and the environment

Greater Manchester's Plan for Homes, Jobs, and the Environment (the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, or GMSF for short) is being put together by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which comprises the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the leaders of Greater Manchester's ten local councils.

The plan is about providing the right homes, in the right places, for people across Greater Manchester (including Bury) up to 2037. It's also about creating jobs and improving infrastructure to ensure the future prosperity of Greater Manchester.

Whilst one of the key purposes of the GMSF is to make provision for the homes and jobs needed across Greater Manchester in a co-ordinated and managed way, it is also about establishing a framework for reducing inequalities, improving the lives of our residents, and transforming Greater Manchester into the world-leading city-region we know it can be.

Publication GMSF 2020

Following consultation on two previous drafts in 2016 and 2019, the GMSF is now progressing to the formal Publication stage. The Publication GMSF will be the version of the plan that each of the Greater Manchester districts believe should be submitted to the government for examination.

Approval process

The Publication GMSF will require the approval of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Executive Board and the Executive Committees of all 10 Greater Manchester districts (including Bury Council's Cabinet) before being subject to an eight-week period of consultation.

Approval is also required from Greater Manchester's 10 Full Councils to submit the GMSF to the government following consultation (although submission would only take place if the GMSF had been approved for consultation beforehand).

Current timetable

The current approval timetable in the lead up to consultation on the Publication GMSF is as follows:

Current approval timetable
AGMA Executive Board30 October 2020
Bury Cabinet - To approve the publication GMSF for consultationTo be confirmed
Bury Council - To approve the submission of the GMSF to the Government following consultationTo be confirmed

The Publication GMSF 2020 and key supporting evidence are now available to view on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority - Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2020 web site as documents to support the report to the AGMA Executive on 30 October.

The publication of this material will enable interested parties to familiarise themselves with the content of the GMSF and key supporting evidence in advance of the formal commencement of consultation.

You can view the GMSF and key supporting documents at: Democracy GMCA - AGMA Executive board meetings.


If all 10 Executive Committees agree (including Bury Cabinet), the plan will then be brought forward for public consultation.

This is the final consultation before the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State for examination and it is more technical than previous rounds. The Government requires us to ask people whether our plans, and the evidence on which they are based, have been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and whether they satisfy the four 'tests of soundness' as described in the Assets Publishing Service - National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This is what we will be consulting on and this will be clearly explained in the consultation, which will be available to respond to at GM Consult - Greater Manchester Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment.

Consultation on the Publication version of the GMSF will give residents and other stakeholders the opportunity to see how we have responded to issues raised previously and to make formal representations on the plan.

It should be noted that it is important to make any representations on this version of the plan, even if you have previously made comments. This is because it will be these representations that will be forwarded on to the Planning Inspector for consideration.

So, even if comments have been made at an earlier stage, the plan should be looked at again to see if these comments have been taken on board. If not, people that have responded to previous versions of the plan may want to make further comments as a formal representation.

It should be noted that you will not be able to submit comments until the consultation commences.

What happens following consultation?

Following consultation, the Publication version of the GMSF will be formally submitted to the government alongside all supporting evidence. The government will then appoint an independent Planning Inspector (or a panel of inspectors) to undertake a public examination of the GMSF.

Importantly, all representations made at the publication stage will also be submitted to the government and these will be considered by the Inspector(s) as part of the examination of the plan.

Please note that the plan will need to be approved by each of the ten Council's before it can form part of the statutory development plan.

Keeping yourself informed

Sign up for updates and details of how to take part in the consultation on Greater Manchester Combined Authority - Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2020 or email

You can also sign up for local Bury updates on Bury Council's One Community Bury web site.

You can view background information on Greater Manchester Combined Authority - Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2020.

In the lead up to consultation on the Publication GMSF, we will add new information to this web site including the various decisions made during the approval process.

We will also add details of how to get involved for the start of formal consultation on the Publication GMSF.

Similarly, information will also be made available on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority GMSF web site above.

Both Bury Council and the GMCA will also be regularly posting information via their respective social media channels.

Further detailed information

The following pages provide some additional information on the Publication GMSF 2020 and what it means for Bury. This includes some high-level information via the links below as well as some more detailed information that is set out under a series of frequently asked questions.

  • About the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

    Find out information on what the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is.

  • Why are we producing the GMSF?

    Find out more on why we are producing the GMSF, what the benefits are for Bury and what would happen if we didn't have a plan in place.

  • Proposed sites in Bury

    Find out about the sites being proposed for employment and housing development in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

  • Implications for Bury's Green Belt

    Find out what the proposed development means for Bury's Green Belt and how this has changed as the GMSF has progressed.

  • Proposals for the environment

    Find out what the GMSF is proposing in terms of addressing climate change, reducing carbon emissions and protecting and enhancing our natural and historic environment.

  • Your questions answered

    Find out more detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions about the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

  • Have your say

    Consultation on the Publication GMSF 2020 will commence on 1 December 2020 and runs for 8 weeks. Further information will be made available once consultation has started.