A PRESTWICH councillor has slammed a report suggesting that three news schools would be needed if plans to build 3,400 homes go ahead.

Tim Pickstone, Councillor for Holyrood, hit out at the report which proposed to develop 47 per cent of Greenbelt land between Parrenthorn Lane and Heywood Old Road for the homes, creating need for two new primary schools and one new secondary school in Prestwich.

The report, which was circulated to members of Bury Council's Joint Consultative Committee for Teachers on March 8, was based on the first draft of the Northern Gateway scheme under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Cllr Pickstone, said: "The first draft of GMSF proposed to destroy a completely unacceptable 47 per cent of Prestwich’s precious Greenbelt land.

"Learning now that the scale of this development would have required three new schools just shows how inappropriate this scale of development would be for Prestwich. Even if they built three new schools, our roads and our trams are already full to bursting.

"Hopefully the second draft of GMSF will see sense and leave Prestwich with its Greenbelt land and focus all development on brownfield sites."

According to forecasts and analysis in the report cited by Cllr Pickstone, the NG1(B) development could generate 714 primary age pupils and 476 secondary age pupils in the area, when schools are already "full to capacity", necessitating additional school places.

Pressures from other development, such as South Bury, and neighbouring local authorities could also add to the issue, the report suggested.

Mr Pickstone's comments have, however, been criticised as being based on outdated information which is due to be updated when the new GMSF is unveiled later this year.

A Bury Council spokesman said: “This paper is out of date. It was produced in 2016 in response to the original proposals contained in the GMSF, which suggested that 12,000 new houses may be needed across Bury, and has not been updated.

“It was circulated to the recent Joint Consultative Committee meeting simply to illustrate how we have to plan for future demands for school places, based on the possibility that all possible housing sites were fully developed under the GMSF.

“The Spatial Framework proposals are currently being rewritten at Greater Manchester level. At this stage, therefore, it is unknown which housing sites will appear in the final adopted plan, and what the implications will be for future demand for school places.

“The Greater Manchester Combined Authority published a report this week which identified that Bury, across the whole borough, had a housing land supply for just 4,365 houses outside the Green Belt.”