© Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Ex-councillor for Cadishead, Darren Goulden, is frustrated with fresh plans to build a number of housing developments on already scarce green space in the City.

Multiple sites within the city of Salford have been earmarked for development including 300 homes East of Boothstown, 800 homes North of Irlam Station and 400 homes at Hazelhurst Farm.

Places for Everyone is the scheme set out by Greater Manchester Combined Authority to replace the controversial Greater Manchester Spatial Framework that Stockport Council voted against.

But Darren Goulden, who lost his seat in the council elections in May 2021, says new homes should be built on brownfield land, not green-belt.

Mr Goulden said: “If you’re taking a load of peatland from us, what do we get in exchange, if there is green belt land gained from these plans then where is it? They can’t be building new green land. Why would you build new developments on the green belt and then turn brownfield sites into greenbelt? It doesn’t make sense.”

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View of Chat Moss from Twelve Yards Road, Salford
Mr Goulden is concerned that building a housing development on a peat bog has unexpected costs that go along with it which he claims will lead to developers being: “unable to deliver the promised affordable and social housing.”

The new plan set out for the whole of Greater Manchester involves a 60% reduction of green belt land being used. The plan also means a 29-hectare net gain of green belt land in Salford.

The ex-councillor for Cadishead called the original GMSF plan; “deeply flawed” and discussed some of the reasons for his scepticism in the revised plans for development.

He said: “We were told that the GMSF plan would only go ahead if all 10 councils in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority all voted in favour of it. The fact that they are still trying to push it through shows how desperate the council are.”

One of the main areas set out in the development plan is a large-scale development on Chat Moss, a large peat bog that acts as an important Carbon Dioxide sink and is also host to a lot of Salford’s biodiversity.

The planned huge development in the wider city region comes as the population is predicted to increase by around 20,000 people per year between now and 2034.


Groups of environmental activists might get involved in direct action if plans build on Chat Moss and other sites in Salford go ahead.

Mr Goulden said: “I’m sure it’ll be like fracking, there’ll be people throwing themselves in front of trucks, I think the whole community will be down on the moss to stop this.”

Mr Goulden isn’t against all development in Salford, he stated: “I think all of the development at MediaCity has been fantastic and other developments on Brownfield sites have been really positive for the city and created many opportunities. When they start building on our green belt, I can’t get behind it.”

You can listen to the interview with Darren in-full here.

The consultation process for these developments is ongoing and can be found on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website.

One Comment

  1. Joanne Belcher-downs

    As a close knit community this is not needed in our area. We do not want this close to our children and thriving businesses.
    This area is on the up and this will damage it so badly. I’m totally against this proposal.

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