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Stockport MDC’s business plan close to sign-off

Neil Tague

Councillors will this week be asked to approve the second full-year strategy for the town’s Mayoral Development Corporation, which has committed to delivering 1,000 town centre homes by 2023.

Stockport Council’s economy & regeneration scrutiny committee will meet on Thursday, with one of the key items being the MDC’s business plan, which requires sign-off by both the local authority and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Lord Kerslake, chairman of the body, said in his foreword of the draft report that the MDC “continues to provide a blueprint for how town centres, with the right vision, partnership commitment and political leadership, can be transformed to the benefit of their communities and the wider economy”.

He described the market confidence shown in Stockport during the pandemic as “enormously encouraging”. Developers including Capital & Centric, Glenbrook and Investar have progressed schemes over the last year.

The MDC, which strengthened its board with three high profile non-executive appointments last autumn, is focused on Town Centre West, an area characterised by industrial properties of various ages and usability, with the overall goal being to build a new urban community, boosting the town.

The council, which produced a strategic regeneration framework for Town Centre West in 2019, supports the MDC with an annual contribution of £500,000 and has reaffirmed that commitment. The 15-year goal for the 130 acres covered is for up to 3,500 new homes.

Stockport Council has set up a £100m investment fund to support interventions including land acquisitions, gap funding and other measures.

In setting out targets for upscaling in the next few years, the MDC said that it will “as a minimum” maintain its current pace of delivery and successfully achieve its initial target of 1,000 homes by 2023, continuing this momentum to deliver at least 250 homes per year until 2026.

In wider terms, the MDC plans to support planning for future health and education needs in Town Centre West, engage with infrastructure providers on the town centre’s ongoing requirements, and take forward Stockport station and its surrounds.

The first project to reach completion under the MDC’s remit was the Mailbox, a 119-aparment scheme by Rise Homes at the former sorting office.

The report for council said that both the 442-home Royal George Village and St Thomas Gardens, an intermediare care home and apartment scheme, are due on site in the coming months, as the pipeline of projects reaches 120,000 sq ft of employment space and 1,000 homes.

Announcements on further sites should follow in the first half of this year: the report said that “the MDC and its partners are in the process of securing control over a growing number of sites particularly around Brinksway and Royal George quarters” as the £100m investment fund is put to work.

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Come on Stockport get the developer to open the river up around here for leisure, image highlights big brick retaining walls!

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