Stockport Council holds crucial meeting to decide future of greenbelt site

  • Stockport council to hold an extrodinairy meeting to decide inclusion in the Greater Manchester spacial framework 
  • No one faction holds majority in the council so the decision is contested 
  • Stockport set to loose much of its greenbelt if framework is accepted, critics say 

Stockport is to host an extraordinary council meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday) to make a crucial decision regarding the Greater Manchester spatial framework (GMSF). 

Unlike other Greater Manchester councils, Stockport has no majority and so far has not come to a decision as to accept or reject GMSF 

The GMSF has been developed to propose suitable sites to meet government housing, industrial and employment targets but also proposes a limited release of greenbelt land for housing and employment.

The net loss of greenbelt is currently set at 1,939 hectares

Although the GMSF states a preference for building on brownfield sites there is growing concern from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors that the number of houses needed will spill over into greenbelt sites such as Heald Green east and west as well as Handforth garden village. 

Without the GSMF, the council would need to prepare a Stockport-specific local plan that would meet government targets. 

Unlike other Greater Manchester councils, Stockport has no majority council and so far has not managed to reach a consensus on this issue. 

If GMSF is accepted areas like Heald Green east could see further losses to their green belt land as the 2020 draft of the framework specifies it aims to “Deliver around 850 homes on the site”.

This figure includes the 325 units already planned on the land owned by the Seashell Trust, which was initially turned down by the council but then overturned in an inquiry  in 2019.

Plans for Heald Green East as laid out in GMSF 

A representative for Heald Green Action Group which fought the initial development by the Seashell Trust said: “Government ministers repeatedly say in parliament that ‘greenbelt is strongly protected’.

“That is simply not true, greenbelt is being trampled on everywhere. This represents the erosion of long-standing greenbelt protections, occurring despite the govt’s publicly stated policy of ‘strong greenbelt protections”

The meeting will take place at 6pm  and you can watch a webcast of the meeting on Stockport council’s website