No revised date has been set for the consultation. Credit: via Place North West

Stockport delays 18,600-home strategy 

The council has postponed a public consultation on its draft local plan “in the face of turbulence at a national government level”. 

The consultation had been due to begin at the end of September and run for 10 weeks. Stockport Council has not given a revised date for when the consultation will take place. 

“Unfortunately, with a new Prime Minister due to be announced next week – followed by the formation of a new government and no clarity about their intentions around planning matters – we have taken the difficult decision that this is not the time to launch such a consultation,” said Cllr Mark Hunter, leader of the Stockport Council and the borough’s Liberal Democrats. 

Hunter said the council was concerned that the £200,000 public consultation “could be rendered void by any changes to planning policy”. 

“At this time of great financial constraint, we feel the uncertainties are too great for this to be a sensible use of public funds and we are instead pausing this process whilst awaiting clarity from the new government. We will review the process in due course.” 

Once adopted, Stockport Council’s local plan will set out where the 18,600 homes the government requires the authority to deliver between 2023 and 2038 can be built. 

The pressure on Stockport to adopt a fresh local plan was ratcheted up when the authority pulled out of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – the joint plan for all 10 GM boroughs now known as Places for Everyone – in 2020 due to concerns about Green Belt release. 

The Labour-led administration at that time was in favour of being part of the GMSF and it was pressure from the Lib Dems and Conservatives that forced the authority to withdraw from the joint plan. 

The council has warned that the failure to form a local plan would put the council under “significant pressure to allow the development of greenfield sites in sub-optimal locations and the potential situation of ‘planning by appeal’”. 

The council’s dedicated local plan webpage states that “without a plan, it would also be much harder to deliver all the new infrastructure Stockport needs. There would also be a lack of certainty for both the public and private sectors which could undermine investor confidence in Stockport.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Here we go again…

By Mr De Lay

Stockport cannot ready housebuilding because the Tory party is changing leaders! Instead of unified state rule from Downing Street, a con-federation with local democratic control of, say, where houses may be built would be good. Otherwise, what’s the point of a Stockport council, if every tiny decision is made by somebody or other in London?

By Anonymous

The “difficult decision” to kick the can down the road, again… 🤦🏻‍♂️

By Anonymous

This screams we don’t have anything ready to consult on. Any national changes would build in a transition period regardless. What’s the real hold up Stockport? Get on with it.

By Unsure

Oh dear! Stockport really are in a mess when it comes to the lack of development land. Pulling out of the GMSF is a massive mistake.

By Anonymous

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a flurry of applications if that’s not already happening


All that will happen is speculative planning application being allowed on appeal. Meanwhile, what about all the other vitally important economic, social, and environmental matters that are addressed by Local Plans? How are Stockport BC going to address the climate emergency they declared without policies in place to do so? How are they going to stimulate the economy without planning policies to achieve this? Without the economic stimulus tied to the Local Plan, how are they going to deliver vitally important services people are desperately needing in the midst of an energy and cost of living crisis? This is political intervention at its worst. The Councilors who made this decision should hang their heads in shame. They have acted solely in their own interests – they don’t want a difficult conversation about housing allocations muddying the waters during local elections. They are not representing the interests of their constituents and any attempt to claim otherwise is an insult.

By Anonymous

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below