Residents from Salford are calling for the council to rethink a plan to build 1400 houses on green belt land in Irlam and Cadishead.

Chat Moss could be under threat from the spatial framework – the so-called masterplan to make sure all councils in Greater Manchester meet their targets for building new homes.

The easiest route to building the homes in each city in the region was for the Greater Manchester boroughs to vote for the plan, however, with Stockport voting it down, leaders now have to alter it.

Pauline Davies, 70, who has been visiting the moss land since she was a child is worried about what building on the green belt land will do for the environment.

She said: “It’s always been there.

“It’s so open and natural and it’s got its own unique place in the ecological system

“It would be such a shame to spoil it or alter it in any way.

“To me, it should be there forever just like it is and for all the generations that are going to come after us.”

The land, which takes up 30% of Salford and is thought to be around 7000 years old, has been referred to as the Green Lungs of Salford because of the clean air that it pushes across the city.

In an attempt to save Chat Moss, several residents have set up a campaign group called Action Against Rural Development or ‘AARD.’

Frances Henry, Chair of AARD said the land has been a great resource for local people during lockdown.

She said: “During the first lockdown it was like Piccadily circus.

“People were walking, cycling, running.

“During lockdown, it was a saviour because within the district we haven’t got that much public open space so the fact we had the moss right on our step, people found it who didn’t really know it was there.”

Instead of building new houses on Chat Moss, Frances thinks the council should invest in “run-down” town centers around Salford.

She said: “We need to look at how we can improve the stock there so that people can live there.

“Even if you demolish 100 houses and create a park and then create houses near it from other buildings you then create a more sustainable way of living.

“We can’t have a dead zone in the middle of our towns and cities and then have all this going on at the outside because we’re not utilising the areas that we should be utilising.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Bunrham, who is leading the the GMSF said they would continue with the plan despite Stockport’s decision as long as the new proposal has “substantially the same effect.”

Salford city mayor Paul Dennett said: “This is integral to our recovery plan from Covid-19, to sustain and create new jobs and to lead the way in terms of that green economic recovery, and importantly to continue our agenda to avoid unplanned development within the city-region.”

For more information on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework visit here.


  1. Sandra Kenzitt

    Why do they have to build on every bit of green areas that we have the way they are going my grandchildren’s children won’t know what a field or green spaces are.

  2. The Salford Local Plan and the GMSF is flawed in the proposal to build on Greenbelt land. Moreover, the retention of Moss land of Irlam and Cadishead is as valuable to our community as the Amazon Forest is to the World. It plays a vital part in the ecological system of Salford. The building on greenbelt is unnecessary in that the calculations of the housing needs are incorrect and Salford know this but their underlying objective is to use the greenbelt as a buffer zone. With the departure of Stockport from the GMSF, do Salford and Manchester need to take up the additional 20% of housing requirements not taken up by Stockport?

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