CONCERNS have been raised from opposite sides of the political spectrum about a major development blueprint that is being drawn up to shape Trafford over the next 20 years.

Trafford's Labour group and the Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale West, Graham Brady, are worried about plans to build on the green belt.

The borough is aiming to build 23,000 new homes by 2035, and although it is pursuing a 'brownfield site first' strategy up to a fifth of the borough's green belt areas could be affected.

These include the Timperley Wedge, land at Flixton Station and pockets of land at a major development at Carrington.

The land earmarked to be developed at Flixton Station includes the station and parts of William Wroe golf course. Around 750 new homes will be built on this site.

But leader of the council, Cllr Sean Anstee, has promised that historic Flixton House will be protected and the golf course would be 're-modelled' within the green belt. 

Mr Brady said he hoped there would be a re-think on the impact on some areas of Trafford of the county-wide plan, known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

He said: “Local authorities have the difficult task of balancing the need for new housing and economic growth with the need to protect quality of life and amenity for existing residents.

"I am concerned that this first draft strikes the wrong balance.

"In particular, the proposals for the ‘Timperley Wedge’ and for land adjacent to Sinderland Lane will erode the green belt in a way that risks allowing urban sprawl and removing the vital green spaces between settlements.

"Both of these areas are already subject to significant traffic congestion, too. I hope that future drafts will take account of these concerns.”

Councillor Andrew Western, the leader of Trafford Labour Group, said: "It is clear that quite drastic action is required to meet the borough's housing needs in the future, and the Spatial Framework reflects that.

"The Labour Group is very much aware of the need to build additional housing stock, and we are supportive of additional house building.

"However, this does not mean that green space in the middle of towns which form a central part of the green infrastructure for that neighbourhood should be built on.

"We are completely opposed to building on the Flixton fields. These fields have been preserved for public use since coming into the possession of Urmston Urban District Council and there is very little green space elsewhere in the immediate area.

"It's outrageous that this public space should be sacrificed when developers have been allowed to sit on brownfield sites for years.”

The leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Sean Anstee, says the council had followed a 'brownfield site first' strategy, and adopting a development plan will help ensure a prosperous future for the borough, and also give greater protection to the green belt in the future.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework aims to deliver 200,000 jobs and 227,000 homes across the region.

People are being given the chance to make their views known about the proposals with a number of drop in information sessions.

The drop-in sessions for residents and businesses are being held:

• Thursday, November 17, 4-7pm; Altrincham Town Hall.

• Monday, November 21, 4-7pm; Urmston Library.

• Tuesday, November 29, 4-7pm; Trafford Town Hall.

• Thursday, December 1, 4-7pm; Sale Waterside.