Following the publication of the Conservative government’s latest proposals to completely change how Local Plans are developed and how planning applications will be dealt with, the Liberal Democrats have called once again for Stockport to withdraw from the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), branding it “flawed” and “not fit for purpose”.
Changes to planning law currently under consultation would see councils like Stockport required to develop a completely new Local Plan that allocates land for development within 30 months of the new legislation being enacted. Despite this, the Labour-controlled Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and Greater Manchester Combined Authority seem hell bent on continuing with GMSF, even though it would have to be replaced almost as soon as it is adopted.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Stockport Town Hall, Cllr Mark Hunter, said: “While these planning proposals might be attractive to property developers and their friends, residents should be clear that they would effectively drive a coach and horses through the planning system as we know it. Local councillors would find their ability to influence decisions on behalf of the people we represent massively reduced if they were to go ahead.
“The plans, as they stand, are ill thought out but the government have the votes to push them through parliament. Here in our area they render the controversial GMSF proposals redundant. GMSF has limped along towards an unsatisfactory conclusion for months and it’s now time to put it out of its misery and focus on our own Local Plan.
“We call on the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to withdraw GMSF, or for Stockport to pull out of it. We will be tabling a motion to this effect at the next full meeting of the council” he concluded.