Agenda item

Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document

To consider a report of the Service Director (Place Development)


The report details the amended version of the draft Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Document (SPD) which has been developed following a six week public consultation which ended on 15 October 2012.


The SPD is also to be considered by the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee on 6 December and the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme South Area Committee on 10 December prior to approval of the SPD being sought at the Executive Meeting on 7 January 2013.


The Scrutiny Committee is asked to note the contents of the report and the proposed amendments to the Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).


Officer contacts: Paul Lawrence/Richard Wood on 0161 218 4515/0161 474 4386 or e mail:




The Service Director (Place Development) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the amended version of the draft Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which had been developed following public consultation lasting six weeks which ended on 15 October 2012.


The SPD had also been considered by the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee on 6 December 2012 and at an extraordinary meeting of the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme South Area Committee on 10 December 2012, prior to approval for the SPD being sought at an extraordinary meeting of the Executive on 14 January 2013.


With the agreement of the Committee, a member of the public was permitted to put a question which he had submitted prior to the meeting requesting that the Scrutiny Committee endorse the recommendation of the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme South Area Committee that consideration of the SPD be deferred from the meeting of the Executive in January to allow for a further period of public consultation on the revised proposals.


The Service Director (Place Development) attended the meeting and made a presentation in relation to the principal changes that had been made to the SPD following the consultation process.


The following comments were made/issues raised:-


      With regard to legal advice, the Council had received Counsel’s advice, particularly with regard to planning policy and the ‘fall back’ position with regard to the range of lawful uses within the site which could continue or could in principle be reintroduced without the need for a further grant of planning permission. It was recognised that it would be helpful if there was on-going dialogue between the legal advisers of Stockport Council and those of Woodford Community Council.

      There was no conflict between the SPD and Stockport Council’s adopted Core Strategy.

      The amended SPD highlighted three principal options as illustrative concepts, but alternative schemes could also be considered.

      Without a SPD, the Council would fall back on the adopted Core Strategy and National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF was more permissive than previous policy guidance and may lead to development in excess of the 42 hectares of the existing Major Existing Developed Site (MEDS).

      The SPD stated that 2 hectares of business use were considered appropriate for the site, as well as the retention of the 2.53 hectares currently occupied by Oxford Aviation and 0.5 hectares for other local centre uses.

      Any planning application would have to be accompanied by a full traffic assessment. The Council had not currently carried out any traffic assessments, but had been in discussions about the methodology to be used with Cheshire East Council.

      The original proposal had been that the SPD would be a joint document with Cheshire East Council, but this had not proved possible because Cheshire East Council did not have an approved Core Strategy and the development site was within the borough of Stockport. A number of informal consultative mechanisms had currently been established at an Officer level between the local authorities and there were proposals to establish a formal development group involving Manchester City Council, Cheshire East Council and Stockport Council upon which Councillor Iain Roberts, Executive Councillor (Economic Development and Regeneration), would be the Council’s representative.

      Concern had been expressed by residents about the ability of motorists to access and egress the site as there were only two access points.

      A Member felt that the single entry primary school should have planning conditions attached to it so that there would be the capacity for it to expand to become a two form entry primary school should that be considered necessary in the future.

      Whether there was a precedent set by the proposals on development applications in other areas of the borough.

      The transfer in responsibility for commissioning new health facilities from the Primary Care Trusts to the Clinical Commissioning Groups had caused problems in resolving some of the issues relating to the provision of health care facilities.

      A Member expressed concern about the proportion of affordable housing which was being proposed. Core Strategy policy H-3 set out that the Council would negotiate to achieve 40% affordable housing on residential developments of five or more dwellings within the Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme (South) and Woodford part of the borough. It indicated that the tenure split sought in the affordable housing would be 50% intermediate housing and 50% social rented housing. The SPD also made reference to the provision of housing for older people.

      Given the likelihood that people living in socially rented housing were less likely to own their own vehicles, the SPD required improvements to public transport provision to be examined. However, Woodford was one of the least sustainable areas of the borough and the opportunities for increasing bus usage or cycling provision were minimal.

      A Member expressed concern about the proposed density of the housing and the possible impact on the character of Woodford.

      How the proposed phasing of the development tied into the release of monies for the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road Scheme.

      It was possible that a hybrid planning application would be submitted for outline planning permission and detailed plans for the first phase of the development.

      In response to a Member’s question, the Service Director (Place Development) clarified that the Government had stipulated that Local Planning Authorities should determine major planning applications within thirteen weeks and that the Secretary of State had the power to determine applications which had not been determined within that period.

      Consideration should be given to the infrastructure in the area, for example the provision of gas and electricity, and sewerage systems.

      In the light of the changes to the SPD following the consultation, a Member felt that the SPD was a good, robust document.


With the consent of the Committee, Mr Paul Rodman, Chairman of Woodford Community Council, was invited to address the Committee. He expressed concern about the number of additional people who would be living in Woodford should the development of the site take place and queried whether the Council should have carried out a traffic survey to inform the SPD.  Woodford was a unique area in the borough in that it was dominated by ribbon development and he considered that the density of the housing proposed in the SPD was too high.


With the consent of the Committee, a local resident, Mr Michael Kingsley, also addressed the Committee and raised his concerns about the SPD.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted and the comments of the Scrutiny Committee on the Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Document be forwarded to the Executive for its consideration at the meeting on 14 January 2013.



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