Devolution drive prompts council to expand planning team

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 26 Nov 2014

Rochdale Borough Council's offices, One Riverside

Chancellor George Osborne’s recent announcement of a directly elected mayor for Greater Manchester has prompted a borough council to recruit for a new senior planning post.

Rochdale Borough Council has recruited Daniela Ripa from Ribble Valley Borough Council to become its new development manager.

Head of planning Mark Robinson told Planning: “George Osborne's devolution announcement at the start of November triggered need for a Greater Manchester housing and employment plan.

“We will be looking at strategic growth areas across the conurbation over the next two years to see where Greater Manchester is going to grow and how it will accommodate that growth.

“Looking at these issues will be a key part of Daniela's new post for the next two or three years, for example, looking at whether employment land might be better used for housing or whether we need to release land for development outside the urban areas.”

Robinson added: “It's not just about residential development, you need the employment and commercial opportunities that will be needed to go hand in hand with housing expansion.

“We have plans for a big town centre redevelopment next year and in principal have government funding of about £8m for a new link road to improve access to employment areas from the M62. 

“Rochadale is also leading the way in Greater Manchester for renewable energy: we are developing wind turbine sites and have two major wind farm proposals in the borough at the moment.”

(pic shows Rochdale Borough Council's offices, One Riverside)

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