POLITICAL leaders are split over changes to the revised Greater Manchester housing and employment masterplan ­— and how it will impact Trafford.

Mayor Andy Burnham published the draft document last week, which outlines the vision for the region. 

The document ­— first published in 2016 ­— details all the major developments planned for the next two decades ­— including two major projects for Carrington and Timperley Wedge.  

Both schemes were in the original proposals, but have been massively scaled back, reducing the potential use of protected land.

Plans to build 750 homes on Flixton green belt, which would have seen William Wroe Golf Club bulldozed, have been scrapped ­—  a move hailed a victory by thousands of campaigners who fought frantically to save the land from development.

The total number of homes planned for Trafford has been revised to 20,500, along with around 690,000 sq m of industry and warehousing space.

Town hall chief Andrew Western welcomed the ‘significant’ reduction in the planned use of green belt land. 

Labour MP Kate Green, who represents Stretford and Urmston,  said: “The plans for Trafford will help to meet the desperate need for housing in the borough and create new employment opportunities, but it’s vital that the planned new infrastructure to support these developments is also put in place.”

Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady, who represents Altrincham and Sale West, raised concerns that the redrafted plans would still ‘destroy’ large swathes of green belt.

“There remains considerable scope for developing brownfield sites in Greater Manchester ­— and regenerating run-down parts of the city,” he added.

“Building thousands of new houses on protected land around  Sale, Timperley and Hale is an easy option, but is the wrong approach.

“I will be working with my constituents to try to secure a more forward-looking and sustainable approach.”

Lib Dem secretary Cllr Jane Brophy said her party appreciated the ‘desperate’ need for housing.

“But that’s difficult to achieve without encroaching on green belt land,” she said.

“We will oppose the development at Timperley Wedge.

“Our opposition to developing the area is written into the partnership agreement we made with Labour and forms part of our power arrangements.

“We will continue to protect our green belt resource ­— and trust residents will support our protests.”

Green Party leader Geraldine Coggins said the changes were an ‘improvement’­— and welcomed plans to deliver better public transport.

“But there are a number of areas of concern,” she added.

“There are still plans to lose significant areas of green belt in Carrington and the Timperley, as well as other areas across the region.

“There are also areas in the document where some grand aspirations are contradicted.”