Opposition to the GMSF and  the Threat to our Towns

Feelings are running strong in Shaw and the surrounding areas

We live here

Shaw and Crompton is a town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Beal at the foothills of the South Pennines, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) north of Oldham, 3.6 miles (5.8 km) southeast of Rochdale, and 8.7 miles (14 km) to the northeast of the city of Manchester. It is regularly referred to as Shaw.

The Threat

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority ( GMCA) has a plan called the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).


The GMSF sets out a long term plan for building homes and industrial premises over a 20 year time frame.  


Locally the majority of this plan is set in our Green Belt and land classed as OPOL other protected open land.

The Green Belt

Shaw lies between Oldham and Rochdale as a consequence of its position it sits on the edge of the Green Belt.

According to the NPPF, there are five stated purposes of including land within the Green Belt

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.



Once an area of land has been defined as green belt, the stated opportunities and benefits include:

  • Providing opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban population
  • Providing opportunities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation near urban areas
  • The retention of attractive landscapes and the enhancement of landscapes, near to where people live
  • Improvement of damaged and derelict land around towns
  • The securing of nature conservation interests
  • The retention of land in agricultural, forestry and related uses

So What does Oldham Council have planned for Shaw?

GMSF Housing Allocation Shaw



1.1500 Houses + 446,000 sq ft Distribution Center Development at Junction 21 M62 (NG3) Green Belt


2.640 Houses in Cowlishaw OPOL


3.900 Houses in Beal Valley OPOL

Why is this bad for Shaw?

It breaks every protection afforded to us by Green Belt.


This massive unprecedented house building scheme will make the quality of life in Shaw intolerable.


Currently Shaw & Crompton has a population of 21,065 people.


The GMCA wants to increase that by 12,000 new residents who will create.

  • 6000 more cars on local roads.
  • If each car makes 2 journeys a day for a year that adds up to 4,320,000 additional car journeys locally.
  • increased pollution.
  • congestion.
  • increased flood risk .
  • 12,000 more people who need Doctors + Dentists.
  • 6,000 more children who need school places.
  • degradation of the local environment.
  • increased pressure on local services.


Now take into account the fact that the neighbouring town of Royton will also have an additional 12,000 new residents.

No Such Thing as Affordable Houses


"Aspirational Homes"

The houses proposed for areas 1,2 and 3 will be "Aspirational Houses" better known as Executive Homes.


"Affordable Houses"

We recognize the fact that we need more affordable housing in Oldham but we think that there is a loop hole that is being exploited by developers.

The Government Definition of an affordable house is capped at £450,000 in Greater London and £250,000 across the rest of England.



We would suggest that this type of housing is not affordable when you look at the average local salary.


Average House Prices in Shaw

Terraced properties sold for an average of £101,191, with detached properties fetching £270,453 in Shaw.


Lets say that these houses will cost £250,000 and we have a 10% deposit. The mortgage will be on £225,000 the salary required to borrow this would be £75,000 a year. In 2016 the average pay in Oldham was £19,497.


Council Tax

These houses will fall within the highest Council Tax Bands in Oldham. Band G £2,793.77 or Band H £3,352.52. This is obviously a consideration taken seriously by the council. Higher Band = Higher Council Tax Receipts.

The Future

The GMCA held a public consultation in 2016 member's of the public were invited to comment or OBJECT to the GMSF plan.


The councils did very little to publicize this consultation.


To quote the head of OMBC's planning department, " we are under no statutory obligation to inform anyone about the GMSF plan". Not a very open consultation then!


However despite their best efforts to hide the truth from the public well over 20,000 people raised OBJECTIONS against the GMSF.


The Government has stated publicly that there should be no building on Greenbelt land until all Brownfield sites have been built upon.


Only in EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES can a Council build on Greenbelt land.



However the GMCA have the power to remove the designated areas from Greenbelt protection.


This would be the worst form of betrayal. The GMCA would essentially be selling the people of Shaw for their own political agenda.

Our Protests 1

Tandle Hill- The Three Thousand

2nd January 2017 over three thousand people from Shaw, Royton, Chadderton, Middleton and Slattocks took part in a protest walk to the the top of Tandle Hill in Royton.

Our Protests 2

Save Shaw's Greenbelt Response to the GMSF

As a result of lots of hard work and the combined efforts of group members and residents, today we have been able to deliver 5 boxes containing 1,293 signed letters of objection to Manchester Town Hall.
Well done getting all these signed everyone, fantastic effort.

Our Protests 3

Save Greater Manchester's Greenbelt


1st of April 2017. All the Save the Greenbelt Groups are holding a protest Rally.

Venue: Manchester Town Hall home of the GMCA and the GMSF team.

Save Greater Manchester's Greenbelt

We support and are supported by the groups associated with Save Greater Manchester 's Greenbelt.

The group for committee members of residents groups to provide support and information to each other.

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