Stockport to remain in GMSF ‘for now’ 

The council has decided to continue working with other local authorities to progress the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, dismissing a motion from Liberal Democrat members who sought to withdraw from the process. 

Stockport Council’s position is now that it does not wish to leave the process to draw up an overarching spatial strategy for the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs for the time being, but that a full debate and vote on the issue should be held at its full council meeting in October.

By then, a full draft of the document is expected to be published, according to a revised timeframe for the GMSF set out by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority last week.

Drawn up by Stockport Lib Dem councillor Mark Hunter, the original motion proposed withdrawing from the framework, which allocates land for development across the 10 boroughs, because it “did not comply with the Government’s new approach to planning”. 

Hunter also believed that the GMSF ran counter to Stockport Council’s ‘brownfield first’ approach to development.  

Previous drafts of the GMSF have proven unpopular among some Stockport councillors because it proposes allocating several of the borough’s Green Belt sites for development. 

In April, Stockport’s brownfield-first approach was dealt a blow after charity the Seashell Trust’s plans for a special needs school and 325 homes on Green Belt land were approved by the Secretary of State on appeal after the council had initially refused them.

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