Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport (SEMA)
Update 12th December 2011
Information relating to expansion plans at Manchester Airport; local and national policy developments.
The Local Context
Proposals for the ‘Airport City Enterprise Zone‘ and the more general expansion of Manchester Airport were included in the Manchester City Council’s Local Development Framework ‘Core Strategy’. This is the framework in which all planning decisions will be made up until 2027. The following is intended as a summary of the airport-related aspects of the plan only.
This draft Core Startegy can be found here:
The pages relevant to the Airport are p.82 – 95 (Policies EC11 and MA1). These include plans to take large areas of land out of the Green Belt in order to include them in the Airport’s Operational Area (see map on page 94 of the Core Strategy draft document). This includes Cloughbank Farm and land to the west of the A538 (Oak Farm).
An independent examination of the Core Straegy took place between 22nd – 26th November 2011. This was held by an independent Inspector Jill Kingaby BSc (Econ) MSc MRTPI. The Inspector assessed the Core Strategy to determine whether it complied with relevant legislation and whether it was ‘sound’. To be sound a Core Strategy should be justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
The Inspector raised several questions in advance which were then discussed at the Examination. These can be found here: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/download/17479/manchester_matter_3-airport
These questions included, amongst others:
Should more weight have been given to the responses from consultees who argued against airport expansion?
Has the impact of the proposed extensions on the local community and the environment/ land around the airport been fully and fairly assessed?
The Inspector will report back at the end of January 2012. There are various courses of action available. The Inspector could recommend no changes to the policies – or recommend small changes, which would be adopted immediately by Manchester City Council.
Alternatively, the Inspector could recommend larger changes to certain policies, which would take the Council a longer amount of time to re-work. There is also the (less likely) option of sending the entire document back to the drawing board. The Inspector’s decision is binding – the Council cannot ignore the recommendations.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England and others made written objections to the proposal to take land out of the Greenbelt and other aspects of the Airport expansion plans. These can be found here with other submissions:
More information on the Core Strategy can be found here:
The Programme Officer who answered queries from SEMA about the Independent Examination was Joanne Conmee (firstname.lastname@example.org). Manchester City Council has sent information about the Core Strategy from this address: email@example.com. These could be good contact addresses to start from if enquiring about the Core Strategy. Councillor Nigel Murphy is the Executive for the Environment at Manchester City Council. It may also be worth writing to him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any objections or questions.
For very detailed reading of how exactly the Airport wishes to expand (including moving further into the Green Belt), Manchester Airport produced a document called ‘The Need for Land‘ in June 2010. This formed part of the submissions to the Local Development Framework. It is available here:
SEMA made a response to one stage of the consultation process for the Local Development Framework in September 2010: http://stopmanchesterairport.blogspot.com/2010/10/sema-submission-to-planning-framework.html
The National Context
Manchester Airport’s Masterplan to 2030 is based on the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – which advocated a ‘go-for-growth’ approach to aviation. Due to sustained campaigning and an increasing awareness about the impacts of climate change, this 2003 White Paper is now recognised as outdated.
In March 2011, the Coalition government released a ‘Scoping Document’ on aviation for ‘key stakeholders’. The forward from the Transport Secretary included the following:
“The previous government’s 2003 White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, is fundamentally out of date, because it fails to give sufficient weight to the challenge of climate change. In maintaining its support for new runways – in particular at Heathrow – in the face of the local environmental impacts and mounting evidence of aviation’s growing contribution towards climate change, the previous government got the balance wrong. It failed to adapt its policies to the fact that climate change has become one of the gravest threats we face.”
The government invited responses to the Scoping Document up to October 2011. Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport made a response which can be read here:
Other detailed responses on noise, climate, economics, biofuels and many other issues made by national organisations can be read on the Airport Watch website:
In March 2012, the government will release a draft new aviation policy. This will be followed by a public consultation. Bodies such as Ringway Parish Council should respond to this – as well as individual residents and members of the public.
The new aviation policy will be formally adopted in March 2013.
Greenbelt row over Manchester Airport City development
A row has broken out between councillors over the future of a green ‘buffer zone’ between Hale Barns and Manchester Airport, the MEN reports. Labour councillors say Davenport Green – on the other side of the M56 from the airport – must be designated green belt to stop the new ‘airport city’ [the enterprise zone development around the airport] creeping onto it. However, council planners say it would be difficult to legally carry out the change, adding that it already has enough protection.
The 335-acre area has tough restrictions to prevent anything but a ‘world class’ development being built on it. At a meeting of Trafford Council, Labour said only green belt status would safeguard it. Councillor David Quayle said there is a ‘toxic mix’ of problems – including suggestions it might feature in the planned enterprise zone. If that happened, the council would lose control of what is built on it, making the site is very vulnerable.
Labour leader Dave Acton said including the area in the enterprise zone would be ‘disastrous’, adding: ‘Protecting it is absolutely vital.’ However, Councillor Michael Cornes, executive member for economic growth and prosperity, said the council would face a legal challenge from the site’s owners if it tried to put into the green belt. A public consultation on the future of the land is due to open in the next few weeks.
Manchester Airport City – Enterprise Zone
A report commissioned by CPRE North West (Lancashire & Cheshire) casts doubt on the wisdom of locating an Enterprise Zone at Manchester Airport.
Andy Yuille, Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer for CPRE North West, said “The evidence suggests that jobs and investment attracted to an Enterprise Zone at Manchester Airport will be displaced from other parts of Greater Manchester and the North West. There’s a real risk that major development in the Green Belt here will undermine attempts to revitalise town and city centres elsewhere. Nothing in the proposals we’ve seen so far indicates how this will be prevented. It’s certainly not the case that only businesses that need an airport location are being targeted.”
“As the airport is less accessible by sustainable means than the city or other town centres, it will also increase congestion, pressure for new roads to be built in the Green Belt and overall carbon emissions.”
“We fully appreciate the need to attract investment and create jobs, but looking at the prosperity of Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas as a whole, this just isn’t the right place to do it. It will add pressure to build on the Green Belt south of Manchester while taking potential jobs and investment away from locations to the north of the conurbation that really need an economic boost. It also means that greater carbon savings will have to be found elsewhere, which is a huge national challenge.”
The report will be submitted to IPPR North’s Northern Economic Futures Commission as well as being submitted to Manchester City Council as evidence when they consult on the wider Enterprise Zone.
Please click HERE for the full report
TRAFFORD CORE STRATEGY
Comments on Trafford Council response to RLAM –
further suggested changes to Policy W1 and R4 –
Comments on Trafford Council response to RLAM
– 25 September 2011
In his submission regarding Manchester City Council’s proposed changes to the
Green Belt in the vicinity of Manchester Airport, Mr Smith makes it clear that any
such changes would cause Trafford Council, “to have significant concerns
should this proposed amendment to the Green Belt boundary result in an Page 2 of 3
increase in such development pressure, which ultimately could seek to
undermine the Timperley Wedge”.
Now, just six months later, Trafford Council, apparently, does not have any of
the same concerns regarding the Timperley Wedge and is more than happy to
consider the inclusion of text of the sort that reads as follows:-
“18.10 The identification of land at Davenport Green as having potential for an
exemplar, very high quality B1 business / office development in order to
support growth at Manchester Airport City and/or Medipark reflects the unique
status of Davenport Green in Policy R4 as a Countryside designation outside
of the Green Belt, protected from development until such time that strict
criteria are met.”
The uses above show that land use proposed by Trafford Council, as at 23
September 2011, at Davenport Green is for the Airport City and Manchester
City Council, not the residents and Council Tax payers of Trafford and is
inconsistent with the current Planning Inspectorate permitted use.
The overall thrust of the Council’s policy position is not only radically different
to the position it adopted as recently as 24 March 2011 in relation to the
Timperley Wedge, but the proposed uses of land at Davenport Green are no
longer for the principal benefit of the residents of Trafford Borough; they are
not properly evidence-based and they have not been subject to proper public
scrutiny. These proposed changes are therefore unsound.
Report shows Manchester Airport is the ‘wrong place’ for an enterprise zone
A new report from CPRE shows the Manchester Airport enterprise zone will undermine attempts at economic regeneration in other parts of the city. The research hits out at the Government’s decision to locate Greater Manchester’s enterprise zone (one of the first 4 “vanguard” enterprise zones announced in March) at Manchester Airport, saying the site is the “wrong” place for a zone. Areas other than the airport have more need for investment.