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Note: In the light of government guidance on social-distancing and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting will be held remotely. The press and public are able to follow the proceedings by watching our live webcast of the meeting. You can do so following the directions above, or by clicking on View the Webcast below.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2020.
The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 4 November 2020 were approved as a correct record.
Declaration of Interest
Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
Councillors and Officers were invited to declare any interests which they may have had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
No declarations were made.
To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive
The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) has been the subject to two previous drafts in 2016 and 2019 which have been the subject of extensive evidence gathering and consultation. This report sets out some background information in respect of the GMSF and why it is being produced. It refers to the strategic context which the plan sits within whilst referencing the plan making process to date.
The report explores the proposals in a Stockport context, in particular having regard to the need to proceed with the provision of an updated planning framework to support inclusive and sustainable growth.
NOTE: This item was originally considered by the Working Party at its meeting on 4 November 2020, but has now been reissued with an accompanying addendum report that sets out a series of amendments to the Stockport element of the GMSF which seek to address a number of issues that are of paramount importance to Members.
The Working Party is invited to comment on the report.
Officer Contact: Emma Curle on 0161 474 3542 or email: email@example.com
A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which updated Members on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
The following comments were made/issues raised:
· Members enquired about the reduction in housing numbers for Stockport and the ability for the Council to secure affordable housing. In response, Members were advised that seeking to progress a plan that would deliver less than the need would also mean delivering less affordable housing, but Members would be aware that there was a methodology for calculating housing need and housing targets for local areas considers the affordable living in the boroughs. It was also stated that it was also about what makes up the supply within Stockport and the difficulties of delivering affordable housing in terms of the numbers on some of those sites.
· Members questioned the affordable housing for areas like Bramhall and related planning applications. In response, it was noted that the requirement to deliver affordable housing was subject to viability and has to be informed by a robust base of evidence for the levels to be achieved.
· Members enquired about the new allocations and the reductions missing from High Lane, Heald Green and Woodford and the criteria that was used to identify these particular reductions in these particular places. In response, it was advised that the starting point was to look at the site selection criteria applied across the Greater Manchester area and to not undermine the wider GMSF and the wider plan as well as to look at the sites that performed particularly well in terms of viability and site selection.
· Members questioned whether things could have been done differently with both Woodford and Heald Green in terms of numbers. In response, it was noted that by working with other districts it has allowed distribution elsewhere but also consideration has to be given to the consequences of those areas. It was also noted that there was not a different percentage to work with at this time, it was 70% and work was being done to stay within that remit and meet the proposed changes within that evidence base that supports the strategy that underpins the GMSF. It was also stated that it was a joint development plan and not just about Stockport and Members must be aware of the impact of further re-distribution of housing that would have on those areas.
· There was a discussion relating to the housing need and urban areas. It was noted that it was a challenging position for the borough, but Stockport was benefitting from the approach taken, but there were still difficult decisions to take including f the plan was not to proceed.
· Members enquired about the housing numbers and whether Stockport would be able to meet the full 100% and if it was a national figure. In response, Members were advised that the starting point was 18,343 which was set by the methodology that sits within the Planning Policy Guidance.
· Members enquired about the proposed new office space and the current situation with a number of organisations and businesses encouraging staff to work from home or closing due to Covid-19 or the current economic problems and whether it will still be required. In response, Members were informed that things were changing due to the pandemic but it was too early to predict what the impact would be and it would be monitored accordingly and that the plan has to be continued to be progressed. However, the system allows for change and things to be built in as it progresses.
· It was confirmed that the methodology was based upon the 2014 household projections and that the Government has been clear regarding the origins of the projections and if the 2018 projections were to be used it would have to be in exceptional circumstances and no authority in the country has successfully argued the position of ... view the full minutes text for item 3.