The council has asked landowners, land promoters and the public to propose non-greenfield sites for redevelopment, as it starts to draw up its own local plan after withdrawing from the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework last year.
Stockport Council decided to leave the GMSF – now called Places for Everyone – last December due to concerns over Green Belt release raised by local Conservatives and others. The other nine Greater Manchester boroughs are now pressing ahead with a revised strategy for allocating land for employment and housing across the city-region, without Stockport.
But the decision leaves Stockport under pressure to produce a separate local plan that delivers on the steep housing targets imposed on Greater Manchester boroughs under national planning policy. Mayor Andy Burnham claimed in a letter to Stockport’s Conservative MPs last year: “The GMSF allows the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs to share out the numbers of homes that each individual borough needs to build. As a result, the GMSF allows Stockport to cut the number of planned homes by over 5,000 – 25% less than its Government target.
“Conversely, if Stockport was to opt out of the GMSF, it would have to find land for all these 5,000 homes.”
In council documents this week, Stockport sets out a ‘call for brownfield sites’ to help it allocate sufficient land to bring forward necessary development.
The document states: “An important part of our future is finding sites to provide new homes including new affordable homes as well as identifying sites where existing businesses can expand or new businesses can come into the borough.
“Our proposed approach to the development of the Stockport Local Plan is to ensure that we put our ‘brownfield first’ approach at the centre of all we do and we want to engage locally with communities to help us find the right solutions for their area.
“In light of the above, the council has launched a “call for brownfield sites” to support work on our new local plan.”
The council added in a statement to media: “We want to hear about the sites in your local areas that you believe should be considered before we need to make decisions in respect of other land within our borough.
“These might be derelict or underutilised sites, vacant commercial premises or an occupied building which has a use which doesn’t fit particularly well in an area.”
The Stockport Local Plan is intended to cover a range of development needs across the borough, including new homes, transport, jobs and infrastructure – to ensure places facilitate the development of thriving communities and local economies, while also addressing climate change issues.
Brownfield land is land that has been previously developed which is no longer in use, such as vacant or derelict land and buildings and also includes previously developed land or buildings which are in use that have potential for redevelopment.
Site proposals can be submitted to the council here www.stockport.gov.uk/callforsites , and the deadline is 23 May. The council then aims to assess proposals and their suitability for alternative uses and use the information to inform the draft Stockport Local Plan. A public consultation is expected in the autumn.
Caroline Simpson, deputy chief executive of Stockport Council, said: “As we continue to develop our new local plan, it is really important we engage with local people and businesses to identify brownfield land that could be developed for new uses – and nobody knows Stockport better than the people who live and work in Stockport.
“I encourage everyone to take part so that we can look at finding positive solutions for the growth needed to provide new homes and places to work for future generations, so that Stockport continues to be a great place to live, work and do business.”