Stockport Town Centre West Aerial View
Aerial showing part of Stockport town centre

Stockport hunts for brownfield sites as drafts local plan

Sarah Townsend

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.”

Your Comments

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The debate when they find there are not enough suitable, achievable and available brownfield sites in Stockport is going to be ‘must watch’ isn’t it?

By Depressed Latic

If I was a developer I’d be getting those green belt applications in, it’ll take them years to come up with a plan

By TJL

Lol at Burnham’s effectively “Good luck with that” comment.

By Sceptic

Thanks to members running scares of the NIMBYs this has all the hallmarks of trying to fit a quart into a pint pot. The bottom line is it won’t work as Stockport needs both employment and housing and can’t square the circle with a quarter of an acre here and a quarter of an acre there. What a farce!!

By Grumpy Old Git

There is lots of brownfield sites all around Stockport areas to build houses.

By Born Bred Darren.

So Stockport council don’t know where to build 5000 homes so are asking for ideas? Very well thought out…..

By MD

The debate when they find there are not enough suitable, achievable and available brownfield sites in Stockport is going to be pretty much a repeat of their GMSF deliberations last year isn’t it?

By the by

Build on the football field on mill lane

By Dale Hart

The local Tories and Liberal Councillors should come forward with all the brown field sites, it was them who voted down the previous plan playing politics

By Overview

The site opposite Compstall Mill on the main road is still derelict and awaiting development.

By Brenda French

surely this should have been the first port of call for the whole framework anyway. First, lets find and earmark the brownfield sites then plug the gap with greenbelt if needed. The process Stockport are drafting up should be commended. Well done! for taking the logical approach!.

By kieran s

Did nobody think to check if they had enough available, developable, and deliverable brownfield land to accommodate their full housing supply before they withdrew from the GMSF? This will drag on for years. All for the sake of some short term political gains by local Tories and Lib Dems. I’m sure they can’t say it publicly, but the planning and regeneration team must be in despair.

By Anonymous

One of the issues with this is that suddenly all of these employment sites that have grown and evolved organically over the years come under threat. The result is we have big strategic employment sites but places for small independent businesses, like the mill site being developed for housing on Hempshaw Lane, being lost. The social impact of this loss versus the loss of a green field for housing is much greater in my opinion.

By CN

Most if the good brownfield sites in the Stockport area have been used to build car dealerships. Come on, just how many cars does one small northern town need to have?
Stockport has at least 12 major car dealerships, these include some pretty heavy hitters when it comes to company names. That could have been masses of affordable housing for the county.

By Philip Peak