At a meeting of the Stockport Council on 15h July, councillors voted to go ahead on proposals to update the Local Plan, which were presented in the Report of the Leader of the Council.
The report outlines how Stockport Council will take a refreshed approach following withdrawal from GMSF last year and the Covid pandemic. The Stockport Local Plan will align with the vision presented in the One Stockport Borough Plan.
The plan will cover 15 years and a draft plan is expected to go out to public consultation in the autumn this year. The final Local plan is expected to be adopted by autumn 2023.
The report explains that the Local Plan will cover a wide range of development needs for the borough, including new homes, transport and infrastructure. The council is taking a brownfield first approach and put out a call for brownfield sites earlier this year.
The report also notes that the Government has consulted on proposed changes to the planning system. The timescale for any new legislation and regulation is currently unclear, but the Government expects local authorities to proceed with plan preparation, taking a flexible approach which could accommodate any changes required.
Using the Government’s standard methodology for calculating housing need produces a figure of 18,581 from 2021 to 2038. A supply of sites for 11,097 dwellings has been identified in the latest assessments, meaning that there is a shortfall of sites for 7,484 dwellings. A reply from Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, to a letter from the council confirmed that the figure produced by the standard methodology is a starting point and the onus is on the council to produce a figure that is right for the borough. There was a vigorous debate on this issue at the Council meeting.