PLANS to build thousands of new homes across Trafford are causing tension between political leaders.

Conservative members of the council aired their frustrations at the Places for Everyone plan, which replaced the previous Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).

The plan sets out where new homes, jobs and facilities will be across the city region for the next 16 years.

Proposals for Trafford include 6,000 new homes across two main sites – Carrington and Timperley Wedge.

Over three quarters of all new homes pencilled in for Trafford are set to be built on existing land and small sites – reducing the loss of green belt land from previous incarnations of the proposals by 40 per cent.

Land for some 365,000 square metres of business space has been identified.

In Carrington, plans include the regeneration of parts of the former petro-chemical works to provide 4,300 homes and 350,000 square metres of employment space.

There are also planned improvements to provide green space, neighbourhood retailing and community facilities.

In Timperley Wedge, there are plans for 1,700 homes, a commercial development and the creation of a rural park in the green belt with improved public access.

Now a public consultation asking residents and businesses for their views is underway.

It is understood the consultation will not lead to any substantial changes to the plan's contents, which were previously consulted on in the form of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Commenting on the current consultation, Cllr Daniel Chalkin, the Conservative Group’s shadow executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Trafford Conservatives have put on record their utter opposition to further green belt release in Trafford through these awful plans. Conservatives voted against the plan when it was brought to the July 2021 council meeting and tried to ‘call-in’ the plan for further scrutiny.

“Regrettably the ruling Labour Group refused to allow this request, to just discuss these plans. The plan is now apparently out for consultation, but in reality, the plan is a done deal.

“The consultation is only asking residents if they think that the plan is ‘sound’ as set out in government policy and whether it complies with the necessary legal requirements. How is any resident expected to be able to answer those questions on such a complex yet hugely important issue?

“It appears that the questions are designed to be confusing and irrelevant in the hope that residents won’t engage with the consultation. It’s clear from prior consultations that their opinions on green belt development won’t be listened to anyway.

“It has been clear from the outset, that Labour intend to force through these plans against the wishes of local residents.”

But leading party Labour have hit back at the criticisms.

Cllr Andrew Western, Trafford's council leader and leader of the Labour Group said: “I would be happy to explain to Cllr Chalkin at any time the requirements his government has placed upon Trafford and the consultation process that arises as a result, as it alarming that as the shadow executive member responsible he seems to have little knowledge of this.

“Personally I only tend to issue public statements on matters I have a solid understanding of; but of course the Conservatives understood the process well enough when they wanted to build 11,500 homes on our greenbelt.

“I am therefore surprised that they are less clear on the stages of consultation required now. This latest consultation is a statutory part of the process required by the Conservative Government as part of ongoing consultation over the past five years, including that undertaken when the Tories ran the council.

“It is as a result of this previous engagement – and thanks to a change of political control in Trafford – that Conservative plans to build thousands of homes on Trafford’s greenbelt have been almost halved by Trafford Labour.

“That they now claim to be against all greenbelt build is laughable. Yet again we see the Conservative Group trying to reinvent history but it is clear from the Tories’ dire election results in Trafford recently that residents are well aware of the truth and recognise this volte face for what it is: cheap, cynical politicking from people who would be building thousands more homes on Trafford’s greenbelt, not less.

“The record shows that local Tories would be building 3,300 homes at Timperley Wedge, 7,500 at New Carrington and 750 homes at Flixton if they still controlled the council. That they voted against a much improved and reduced plan without offering any alternative shows that when they left office in Trafford, they left their values and their ability to make difficult decisions behind.”