THE future of housing developments in Bury will be assessed at a crunch meeting on Tuesday.

An exploratory meeting will be held at Bury Town Hall, where independent planning inspector Malcolm Rivett will examine whether Bury’s "core strategy" is up to scratch.

The strategy sets out the vision for development in the town for the next 15 years, and identifies how much housing, employment and retail development Bury needs up to 2029.

In a letter to Bury Council in advance of the meeting, Mr Rivett has highlighted concerns with the plans.

The council admits there is an issue with the strategy, as it is planned that 500 houses a year will be built a year – but there is only space for around 400 without encroaching on to the green belt.

Mr Rivett has raised issues and aired concerns about possible development plans for Gin Hall in Walmersley.

Mr Rivett says he has not yet concluded whether the core strategy is sound, and will use the meeting to ask questions.

There are four potential outcomes of the meeting:

  • Mr Rivett’s concerns are addressed and the examination continues.
  • The examination is suspended while the council does further work.
  • The concerns highlighted by Mr Rivett remain and the council withdraws the core strategy.
  • The examination continues with the potential of the strategy to be found unsound.

Concerns were raised about the potential cost to the taxpayer of the document being found to be unsound by deputy Conservative leader Cllr James Daly at a full council meeting in January.

He claimed that the core strategy is in “imminent danger” of being thrown out by Mr Rivett.

Cllr Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for environment, said: “I believe we have got a robust document going forward.”

The meeting will take place in the Peel Room at 10am.