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As part of the Local Plan making process, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that this should be informed by a proportionate evidence base.

In terms of planning to meet future employment needs, the NPPF states that local planning authorities should assess the existing and future supply of land to meet business needs. In line with this, there are various areas of work that we're involved with that informs planning policies or the approach to proposals involving employment land and premises.

Bury employment land review

The Employment Land Review is an assessment of the quantity and quality of employment land in the borough and considers the extent to which this land can meet projected employment land requirements over the plan period.

The review has identified those sites which are no longer considered to be appropriate for continued employment use and has identified a portfolio of future employment sites that meet local and strategic planning objectives and the requirements of business and developers.

The Employment Land Review was originally published by the Council in March 2009 but the latest update was April 2013. The review focused on the following employment uses:

  • offices; both in town centres and elsewhere, including those for public administration
  • light and general industry
  • wholesale and freight distribution
  • high technology premises, including research, business and science parks.

The review:

  • sets out the local economic context
  • determines the most appropriate methodology for identifying future quantitative needs for employment land and identifies what this quantitative need would be
  • identifies qualitative needs for employment land based on an independent assessment by Nolan Redshaw
  • identifies spatial needs for employment land
  • assesses the suitability of the Borough's existing supply of employment land
  • compares the suitable existing supply against identified needs
  • seeks to identify additional sites to meet identified shortfalls
  • reviews whether the combined supply of suitable existing and additional sites addresses the identified quantitative, qualitative and spatial needs
  • assesses the suitability of existing employment sites.

Evaluation of the borough's main concentrations of employment uses

As part of the Employment Land Review, we commissioned Nolan Redshaw Chartered Surveyors to undertake an evaluation of the borough's main concentrations of employment uses (as currently identified as Employment Generating Areas in the adopted Bury Unitary Development Plan).

Nolan Redshaw also prepared an overview of the current and anticipated medium to long term market for employment uses in Bury.

In conjunction with consultation on the Publication Core Strategy, comments were invited on the Employment Land Review during 2013.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)

In August 2014, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Executive agreed to produce a Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) as a joint Development Plan Document for the ten Greater Manchester districts.

Following consultation on two previous drafts in 2016 and 2019, Greater Manchester's Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment (the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)) has now reached an advanced stage in its production with the Publication version of the Plan due to be consulted on in November and December 2020.

The GMSF sets out the identification of district employment floorspace requirements and this supersedes any needs that were previously identified in the Bury Employment Land Review.

Employment land availability

We will ultimately need to identify a supply of employment land that is sufficient to meet Bury's requirement identified in the GMSF and as such, it remains important to continue to monitor the take-up and supply of employment land in the borough. We monitor this on an annual basis, using a base date of 1st April.