Blog Post

Can Stockport Build While Minimising Green Belt Loss?

May 31, 2019, 10:04 AM by Ian Watson

One of the discussion topics that split opinion regarding the Stockport property market is the use of green belt land? There have been protests about proposed green belt development, and there have been calls for more work on brownfield sites.

The issue of green belt and brownfield site work is a topic that has been discussed by the leaders of Stockport Council, with an admission that more should be undertaken in this area. The closure of the development masterplan consultation period has led to a greater understanding of public opinion, and what's expected from the changing face of Stockport.

Change is taking shape in Stockport

Most people agree the transformation of the town has been startling, and long overdue. However, these changes are an on-going process, and there will be a further consultation period in autumn of this year. If any revisions arise in the strategy, the public will learn of the changes at this time, giving people the chance to discuss the developments.

Right now, planning bosses are making their way through the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, a blueprint for homes and jobs. This plan is an update on the original project, which was met with great dismay and many complaints, due to the use of green belt land. The new plan has improved matters concerning the loss of green belt land, but it failed to secure a “no net loss of green belt” land. Also, there are concerns surrounding some of the proposals located in the plan, with the Heald Green development at High Lane being a contentious issue for many people.

The new plan put forward reduces new homes to 15,000 from the previous level of 20,000. Of the new homes, 3,700 could be built on green belt land.

Progress is welcomed in Stockport

Mark Hunter is the Liberal Democrat Leader and while he admitted that progress has been achieved, he still holds concerns regarding the project. Councillor Hunter said; “In our view much more remains to be done and having seen the latest revised set of proposals it’s clear it’s clear to me we are not yet at a situation where we could give our backing to what is being proposed. Far from it indeed.  We remain extremely concerned about the threat to green belt.”

Alex Ganotis, the Town Hall Chief responded by saying; “You are absolutely right, there may very well be more to be done, that’s what we need to focus on over the next few months, to bring that figure down as much as possible. But not just bring it down, but make sure we create great communities across Stockport,  whether that’s across green belt or brownfield sites, good quality communities, good quality housing and the right tenure.”

One area that has been questioned regarding the framework is why a 20-year plan is in place. The legal minimum length of time for a program like this is five years, and many have said a shorter plan would allow for more realistic targets to be met and would enable avoidance of green belt sites.

These are exciting times in Stockport, with the property market changing considerably. If you are looking to remain in touch with Stockport property market options, please contact us. At Peter Anthony, we offer a range of Stockport properties, so contact us to find out where you should make your next move.    
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