Weather Icon 9.3°C Clear
10-year-old boy’s plea to spatial framework bosses
Wednesday 6th February 2019 @ 09:44 by Lauren Entwistle
News

By Charlotte Green, local democracy reporter.

A ten-year-old boy has written a heartfelt plea to save the land where he rides his beloved ponies from being transformed into a huge ‘garden village’.

The revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework unveiled last month would see around 2,790 homes and 175,000sqm of employment space built on land designated as green belt in Tameside.

One of the key areas identified for development is in Hyde, which is proposed to feature 2,350 homes in the form of the new Godley Green ‘garden village’.

But for Godley Community Primary Academy pupil Jayden Smith, it would see him losing the land around the Green Lane farm where he rides and stables his ponies Maddie and Flicker.

His mum Amanda Smith told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he was ‘really upset’ when she told him about the plans, which are currently out to consultation.

Jayden, 10, decided to write to bosses at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to help support the local campaign to protect the green belt.

“It’s a bad idea Green Lane could be going,” he wrote.

“I really enjoy going down it to see my horses and it’s been part of my life for three years.

“I really enjoy riding on Godley Stud farm and that is where I got my own ponies.

“I don’t want houses being built on it because it will be hard for my mum to find some stables and everyone else as well.

“I really enjoy riding up and down it and walking my dogs as well.

“I enjoy blackberry picking in the summer it makes me happy with the nature around me and that I can go free with my imagination.

“I do enjoy spending time with my ponies on Green Lane and doing things with them like grooming and walking them and I really enjoy walking up in the summer to see them after school.”

The long-awaited revised draft of the spatial framework would see around 8,850 homes built across the borough between now and 2037.

The Godley Green village covers the same footprint as it did in the 2016 draft plans, spanning open green belt land to the north of Mottram Old Road.

The 20-year housing target for the region envisions 201,000 new homes built across the ten Greater Manchester boroughs.

Amanda, 31, who lives on Mottram Road in Hyde, is also a horse rider and she and Jayden both compete in local horse shows and have five ponies at the site off Green Lane.

She said he was ‘quite wise for his age’, and had picked up on the conversations around the spatial framework from seeing articles she was reading, and spotting campaign posters at Werneth Low country park.

“It was quite a hard conversation to have with him, Jayden is quite sensitive and he got quite upset,” she said.

“He was asking what would happen to the ponies, where they would go and I had to tell him I didn’t know.

“He asked ‘what can I do, how can I help’ so I said he could do a letter and say how he feels.”

Amanda is part of the Save Tameside Greenbelt campaign, and she and Jayden are due to attend a public meeting to discuss the plans. 

“There are about 1,000 people who go walking their dogs up there, cyclists go up there, it’s a lot of people who will be affected” she said.

“Jayden has been into ponies since he was a baby, I don’t think it’s going to be a case where he outgrows them.

“It will be sad for him to see the places he’s played in and grown up in being lost.

“He’s known it for years as the place where he learnt to ride, there is a lot of sentimental value in this area for him.

“It’s not just the older generation that are going to lose out from this.”

A Tameside council spokesperson said that under the revised GMSF, more land was going into the green belt so there was an 82pc reduction in the borough’s loss, compared to the 2016 draft.

They said that only 1.5 pc of the existing green belt in Tameside would be lost under the revised proposals.

“It’s important we have a plan so we can shape development in the best interests of the borough and local people – otherwise developers will push to seek planning permission in areas they have secured an interest in,” the spokesperson said.

“The allocations of land to be developed in Tameside aim to be innovative and do something different – creating new places with the necessary supporting infrastructure, including greenspace and recreation, rather than piecemeal infill between existing developments.

“The spatial framework adds to what we are doing locally to  grow neighbourhoods and support communities, where Tameside people can live, work and thrive.

“We are prioritising the regeneration of brownfield land within the urban area, but that alone is not enough to meet the need for more housing so we are forced to give up some of our greenbelt.”

The council are encouraging people to have their say and give feedback on the plans.

They can be viewed online or hard copies can be read at Tameside library.

A series of local consultation events are also being staged.

The new spatial framework consultation remains open until Monday, March 18.