Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester Green and Blue Strategy and Implementation Plan

Report of the Strategic Director, Development


This report provides the annual update on the delivery of the Green and Blue Implementation Plan together with information on the delivery of the Tree Action Plan.


The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director, Development that provided the annual update on the delivery of the Green and Blue Implementation Plan (G&BI ) together with information on the delivery of the Tree Action Plan.


The main points and themes within the report included: -


·         The work on the green and blue agenda is an essential component of creating a climate resilient city and delivering Manchester’s Climate Change Action Plan;

·         The report addressed the current context within which this agenda was being delivered including the impact of Covid and the need to deliver an economic recovery that was both inclusive and environmentally sustainable; 

·         Providing a background to the G&BI Strategy and Implementation Plan;

·         Describing the Manchester’s Tree Action Plan;

·         The role of the G&BI Board and the G&BI stakeholder Group;

·         The role of G&BI in delivering the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan;

·         The Impact of Covid;

·         Key delivery highlights from the G&BI Strategy on progress in 2020; and

·         Future Priorities.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·         Welcoming the recent delivery of trees in the Old Moat ward and what were the plans for the delivery of phase 1 and phase 2 of Tree Action MCR;

·         Noting the scale of ambition to plant trees, had consideration been given to training Council staff and staff in schools to equip them with the skills to help them maintain trees;

·         The species of trees should be the most appropriate for their intended location;

·         Consideration should be given to planting the species of the Manchester Poplar tree at appropriate sites;

·         There was no mention within the report of Bee network investment in the north of the city;

·         Every attempt should be made to protect tree’s, especially those that were lost as a result of development and consideration should be given to designating areas as conservation areas to offer that additional protection to trees from development;

·         Noting that the delivery of green infrastructure was ofen an element of any planning consent granted, what measures were taken to ensure these were delivered;

·         Noting the delviery of Mayfield Park, stating that this was a good example of partnership working to deliver viable green space to the residents of the city;

·         Noting the importance of quality green space had been highlighted during the pandamic;

·         How could Council owned land be used to promote and support local community wellbeing and green initiitves; and

·         What work was being done with Registered Housing Providers around this agenda.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that there were a range of initiatives to be delivered in the north of the city, making reference to the Northern Gateway Development and the Rochdale Canal towpath scheme that would see the route improved for both walking and cycling, enhancing access to Manchester's waterways.  When completed the Rochdale Canal would provide a traffic free environment for local residents to walk and cycle along. She further commented that a schedule of projects to be delivered was planned and she would welcome feedback and suggestions from Members on these.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport commented that the designation of conservation areas would be considered as part of the Local Plan and she encouraged local Members if they deemed it appropriate for an area within their ward to progress this through via ward coordination.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport commented that the informed consideration was given as to the variety of tree species that were selected for any given location, adding that they were selected to maximise carbon capture and promote biodiversity.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer responded to questions by advising that within the first phase of Tree Action MCR, wards had been identified that typically had fewer trees, including a lower percentage of street trees. Many of these wards were in the central part of Manchester, so the list had been amended to include some wards in the North and South to allow a wider geographical spread.  Wards not included in Phase 1 would have the opportunity for tree planting in Phase 2, adding that every ward would receive tree planting. She commented that this was in addition to the ongoing programme of works described within the report relating to community orchards.


The Principal Tree Officer commented on the challenges presented by disease to the Manchester Poplar, however noted the comments from the Member regarding a disease resistant variety and suggested he discussed this with the Member following the meeting.  In response to the suggestion regarding training to support the ongoing maintenance of trees, he stated that they were a small team however this would be taken away from this meeting and discussed with City of Trees.


The Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing advised Members that where trees were to be lost as a result of development there was a condition that the developer replace these with a ratio of two trees planted for every one lost, adding that this was to be increased to three. In regard to any specific concerns regarding the delivery and maintenance of green space by developers she stated she would discuss this further with the Member following the meeting. She further welcomed the positive comments regarding the delivery of green space from the development of the Mayfield area, adding that the lessons learnt from the scheme would inform future regeneration projects.


The Senior Policy Officer stated that positive relationships existed with local Registered Housing Providers and good practice regarding green and blue projects and initiatives was shared between them, however acknowledged more needed to be done to capture and report this activity. The Chair recommended that the information that was provided to Registered Housing Providers was circulated to members of the Committee. In response to the question relating to the use of land to facilitate and support community projects he recommended that Members discussed this with their local Neighbourhood Teams.




The Committee:-


1.         Recommend that Officers, in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport explore the options for delivering a programme of tree maintenance training. This training to be made available to all relevant partners, including staff working in schools.


2.         Recommended that the green and blue information that is provided to Registered Housing Providers is circulated to members of the Committee for information.


Supporting documents: