P4E Hearings Week 1: How accurate were Trafford’s responses to the Planning Inspector?

We have been working hard over the past few weeks to prepare for the Places for Everyone (P4E) Examination in Public Hearings. 

But ……it is hard to be equipped for Trafford’s responses to the Planning Inspectors’ questions when their answers are blatant inaccuracies! 

In the first week of the Hearings, we discussed legal, procedural and general matters, including the Councils’ adherence to their Statements of Community Involvement (SCI).  Sadly, in relation to consultation, this is the only aspect the Planning Inspector can consider.  As one of our colleagues from the Save Greater Manchester’s Green Belt Group pinpointed – it is very evident that “there has been a consultation deficit”.

At the session (starting at 5:33:0), the Planning Inspector first asked Trafford about the link between the Carrington Relief Road (CRR) and the Places for Everyone Plan. 

As part of their response, Trafford’s representative stated (not once, but twice) that the CRR has been subject to consultation outside of Places for Everyone, including in relation to the Preferred Option. 

As you will know, this is factually incorrect.  There has, as yet, been NO consultation about the CRR.  One only needs to look at Trafford’s consultation portal, and our previous blogs, to confirm that. 

Given the importance of these Hearings, it is both shocking and disturbing that Trafford does not expect to be completely accurate in their responses, but there is more!

The Planning Inspector followed up with a question about workshops.  The Trafford representative suggested that Covid was the reason for the lack of workshops during the P4E stage of the Plan development.

Some of you will remember that we ran some online workshops during the Covid period, including one on Air Quality, which Trafford attended. 

So, it is inappropriate to assign blame to the pandemic for the lack of workshops since 2020.

Their response in relation to earlier phases of the spatial framework was even more objectionable……..  Trafford’s representative stated that workshops WERE held. 

Now, remember, this was a discussion about Trafford’s compliance with its Statement of Community Involvement and the question about workshops related to events with the community. 

It is clear, Trafford DID run a number of workshops in earlier phases of the Plan.  Trafford, landowners, developers and local businesses have mentioned them, including in responses to Planning Inspectors’ written questions.

Trafford call these organisations “major stakeholders” in their New Carrington Masterplan (document 10.09.06 within Places for Everyone).  Yet residents, and their potential inputs were totally ignored, despite our requests and what is set out in their SCI.

We did confirm back to the Planning Inspector that community representatives were not invited to any workshops, but the point was avoided by the GMCA’s Kings Counsel. 

We were not the only community challenging the Districts’ SCIs and associated issues.  The accessibility of the documents in the P4E Plan was raised by more than one group.  The 430-page Integrated Assessment, which included pages that are illegible, even when printed on A3 paper, is one such document!


The GMCA’s representation was led by Christopher Katkowski Kings Counsel (KC), a leading planning lawyer and one of the four KCs present at the Hearings this week. 

Residents, of course, had no Counsel as it is beyond our funding abilities.

For more information:

You can watch the first set of Hearings at the links below:

1st November 2022,   2nd November 2022,   3rd November 2022,   4th November 2022

More details are available at this link  

The Manchester Evening News has featured Carrington Moss in their recent article about Places for Everyone, which highlighted that the Plan will result in the equivalent of 2 new boroughs in Greater Manchester within the next 16 years.

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