The Employment Land Review undertaken by Bury Council in order to draft its core strategy for the Borough over the next 15 years has just published its findings.
The review has attempted to find good quality “employment land” to develop in the future. They have already included in the draft Core Strategy proposed employment sites with good access to Junction 17 of the M60 at Prestwich, a number of sites at Pilsworth on Junction 3 of the M66 and land with access to Junction 2 of the M66 at Heap Bridge.
In addition to the sites at Prestwich, Pilsworth, HeapBridge identified above, the Review has found that opportunities for further employment land within the existing urban area are extremely limited and all additional options that were considered involved land within the Green Belt.
In considering the additional options, the Review has concluded that the site at Gin Hall (adjacent to the M66 slip road at Ramsbottom) represents the most appropriate and deliverable opportunity. Although located adjacent to the motorway, they say that the site is also accessible by public transport as well as being well-connected to East Bury – one of the Borough’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the Review says that the identification of this site will also help to increase the provision of employment land in the north of the Borough of Bury.
However, the Council recognises that, given the site is designated as Green Belt, there are significant policy constraints on the site. Consequently, the Council’s draft Core Strategy specifies that employment-related development at Gin Hall will only be supported on this site if an applicant is able to satisfactorily demonstrate ‘very special circumstances’ as is required by the National Planning Policy Framework.
Local Residents in Walmersley are vociferously opposed to any development on this land.