Greater Manchester's Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment - also known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) - will be discussed by all 10 Leaders of Greater Manchester and the Mayor at a meeting on Friday 11th January.
It sets out ambitious plans to make Greater Manchester one of the best places to live and work in the world. The plan is being produced by all 10 Greater Manchester councils working together in partnership, which will ensure that we have the right land available in the right places to deliver the homes and jobs we need up to 2037. It will also identify the new infrastructure such as transport, schools, health centres and utility networks required to achieve this.
Locally, what does this mean for Stockport? The GMSF could see in the region of 15,000 new homes built in Stockport by 2037 alongside new additions of industrial and warehousing floorspace. These ambitious plans will bring new jobs, opportunities and new homes to Stockport as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), the majority of which will be located within the urban area on 'brownfield sites.'
Stockport, through the GMSF and our emerging Local Plan, will continue to protect as much of our valuable green spaces as possible, placing the strongest possible emphasis on delivery of development on brownfield land. This version of the plan sees a significant reduction in the number of new homes proposed in the Green Belt and a significant increase in the amount of brownfield land identified within the urban area to deliver new homes.
Our plans for Greater Manchester's first Mayoral Development Corporation for Town Centre West will also look to unlock development sites and accelerate the speed of transformation within Stockport's Town Centre, emphasising our continued commitment to a 'brownfield first approach.'
We want to ensure that we plan for the new homes needed by existing and future residents and aim to ensure that a significant proportion of the new homes to be delivered are affordable. We also want to ensure that we have the necessary infrastructure in place to support these new developments, that is why our policies will require developers to contribute towards things like health facilities and school places.
Where land is proposed to be removed from the Green Belt we want to ensure that schemes are delivered to offset for the impact of the loss by ensuring that the new developments do not come forward without sensitive landscaping, open space provision and any necessary mitigation, which includes the impact on the highway network.
Stockport's popularity as somewhere to live, work and invest is continuing to grow, and we need to provide new employment opportunities and ensure that the new homes of all sizes and tenures come forward in the borough, but as we do this we're listening to the views of residents.
The Council has listened to feedback from local residents and businesses and is doing all it can to maximise the development of new homes on brownfield sites across the borough, with developments like the Former Sorting Office on the A6 already planned to start on site soon. This means Stockport has significantly reduced the amount of land we need to release for development on the Green Belt - a reduction of 69% of the number of homes which we have identified on sites within the Green Belt as well as a reduction in the net loss of Green Belt in the borough to 2.1%.
Councillor Kate Butler, Stockport Council's Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: "We have made a firm commitment to the people of Stockport that we will - as far as possible - build the homes we need on previously developed land. This Brownfield First approach is central to our ambitions and we have shown we have changed the first draft of the GMSF plan in light of feedback from our local communities.
"It is important to note that nothing has been decided yet - if approved at Friday's meeting then there will be a period of open consultation and I'd like to encourage all residents to participate and have their say on this plan to help shape a Stockport fir for the future. It is vitally important we listen to local views on how we can improve the environment and provide new opportunities to live and work in Stockport."
The Plans to be discussed on Friday can be viewed on the GMCA website and in the meantime residents can visit www.gmconsult.org and register their interest in the plan - and be notified when the consultation goes live.