In 2010, the government coalition agreement included the first ideas about localism, giving local people more power in local planning. This gave rise to the Localism Act. Localism Act.
In February 2013, the Rt Hon Don Foster MP visited Woodford to discuss the proposed Aerodrome development with members of the Woodford Community Council (WCC) and he suggested that the WCC could consider setting up a Neighbourhood Forum in Woodford.
Stephen Taylor led the way on the project to establish Woodford Neighbourhood Forum with great energy, drive and enthusiasm. Stephen was formerly a borough councillor in SMBC and was familiar with planning at a local level. He worked very hard on the application to establish a Forum, together with Robin Berriman, other members of the WCC, and John Knight, who is our planning advisor. John’s experience was extremely valuable following his career as a planner with Macclesfield Borough Council and Cheshire East Council. Local residents and business owners were recruited to form the first members of the Forum and a constitution was written.
The application to SMBC to establish Woodford Neighbourhood Forum was successful and the Forum was established in October 2013. However, it had been hoped that this would give residents a voice in the future development of the Aerodrome site, so it was a disappointment that the Aerodrome was excluded from the Neighbourhood Area.
Very sadly Stephen Taylor died in August 2014 and is greatly missed by his family, members of the Forum and the wider community. Members of the Forum would like to pay tribute to the huge contribution he made to setting up this Forum which would not have happened without him.
The neighbouring communities in Poynton are also preparing neighbourhood plans, leaving the Aerodrome site as something as an anomaly in the locality, being excluded from any of these plans.
The aim of the Forum is: “To promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Area.” It is a legally constituted body which gives residents a voice in local planning issues. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Woodford. More details can be found in our constitution.
On behalf of residents, the Forum makes representations regarding planning issues in neighbouring areas which will have an impact on Woodford, including Stockport, the Aerodrome site and Cheshire East.
A key task for a Neighbourhood Forum is the development of a Neighbourhood Plan and this is in progress. It should be noted that this plan is concerned solely with the Neighbourhood Area, which excluded the Aerodrome site.
Woodford Community Council has a different focus to the WNF and will continue in its role to give residents a voice on matters affecting their community and liaise with Stockport MBC and other statutory bodies, as required. The WCC web site can be found here.