All being well, the local plan could be adopted in 2026. Credit: via Place North West

Further local plan delay for Stockport

Just weeks after announcing imminent consultation on the long-awaited housing delivery plan, the council has decided to defer the exercise.

In a statement issued on 16 December, Stockport Council said that publication of a ministerial statement on 6 December addressing housing targets had spurred its decision.

That same statement, which raises questions over the need for specific housing targets and the need for Green Belt development, has brought about reaction from  councillors, consultants and MPs alike, with some questioning the future of the pan-Greater Manchester Places for Everyone plan.

Stockport Council’s statement said: “The Government have indicated that they intend to consult on a new National Planning Policy Framework prospectus before Christmas and as such it is important that we wait to see what these changes could mean for our emerging Local Plan.

“The decision to defer is not one that has been taken lightly and legal advice has been taken to inform this decision.

“We will review the position and update on a revised timetable as soon as we are able to do so. We remain committed to having the right Local Plan for Stockport and do not want to put unnecessary burdens on our communities at this time by consulting on a plan that might not now fit Government guidance.”

At the start of December, the local authority had said that a consultation would begin on 23 January, with an eight-week process including online consultation and drop-in sessions in each of the council’s committee areas.

Before that, the council had already postponed a consultation due to start in September “in the face of turbulence at a national government level”.

The council has been under pre4ssure to produce a local plan since pulling out of the then-Greater Manchester Spatial Framework in December 2020.

Local plans are taxing councils to varying degrees. Last week, Cheshire East’s full council voted to adopt the Site Allocations and Development Policies document that is effectively the second part of the Local Plan it adopted in July 2017 after three years of comments and submissions including 11 consultations.

Outside of the region, Mole Valley (Surrey), Horsham (Sussex) and Teignbridge in Devon have all paused work on local plans in the wake of Michael Gove’s 6 December announcement.

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More proof that local housing needs of Greater Stockport are somehow dictated by London-based political party ideology and Whitehall staff who work and live 200 miles away and have no connection with greater Stockport whatsoever. Local democracy? What a joke!

By James Yates

Greater Manchester has to have some of the best town/city halls in the world?! It should promote them more.

By Love from the south

5 years after agreement in principle on GMSF, and before Andy Burnham, more evidence that local planning is broken


Love from the South is right but unfortunately,these buildings have been ruined, by ghastly post-war development. The best example of that being Bolton. The town hall and Le Mans crescent looks like Vienna, everything else looks like Luton.

By Elephant

Stockport needs to get its finger out people need houses so do your jobs it’s what you are paid for

By John Stuart

Half agree with Elephant. There’s still loads of nice buildings in Bolton, albeit underused or falling apart. It could be brilliant.

By Anonymous

@ John Stuart – but voters also need green belt.

Blame the council for the previous delays but to be honest I think this one is on the government. Nobody in their right mind would consult on a plan that includes building on the green belt (surely Stockport would have to to get anywhere near their housing need, even if it is reluctantly) when the government has just very clearly announced that council’s don’t have to review their green belts to meet housing needs.

By Nancy Sinclair

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