The Leith Group have been hired by one of the largest action groups in the UK to help continue the fight to save Green Belt land across Greater Manchester.
With around 50 affiliated groups across the Greater Manchester Region, representing over 60,000 members, Save Greater Manchester’s Green Belt Group (SGMGB), has long campaigned to prevent the region’s green belt land from becoming, in their words, ‘a developer’s charter.’
The move to hire the Leith Group follows Stockport Council’s vote to come out of the regional Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), which the SGMGB group say left them with no choice but to act in an effort to apply continued pressure.
Zoe Sherlock, chair of SGMGB said,
'Our goal remains the same, to protect against the plan’s proposals for using the Green Belt as a giant building site. We’ve fought long and hard to stop building on Green Belt across Greater Manchester and we’re not about to give up now.
‘The grand GMSF plan has hit the buffers but we’re in no doubt that it will come back under a different name. When it does, we’re ready to continue our fight. People across Greater Manchester have twice told the ten local councils and GM Mayor Andy Burnham that they don’t want Green Belt built on, it’s too precious to lose.
‘We’re making it clear that we’re not being complacent, and so have commissioned The Leith Group to help us.’
‘With their vast experience working for and against local councils throughout the UK, Planning consultancy The Leith Group are well versed and willing to help us save the region’s Green Belt.’
Leith’s Chief Operations Officer Shan Dassanaike added:
‘Unlike many other national consultancies, we’re happy to ruffle a few feathers. This is a great opportunity to represent what is collectively, one of the largest action groups in the UK.
‘And this is a fight for something that we wholeheartedly believe in. The release of greenbelt should be the last port of call if development requirements cannot be met by brownfield sites.
‘Our team have started reviewing the GM spatial framework documentation in detail, and already we can see significant inconsistencies. What we hope to do is identify the issues and work with the GMCA to resolve them. We’re not here to simply say “we don’t like this”. In the end we want to provide a solution.’