The Stockport Mayoral Development Company (MDC) is on track to meet initial target of facilitating the build of 1,000 new town centre homes.
The organisation, established using the Greater Manchester Mayor’s devolved powers, had its strategic business plan backed by Stockport Council’s Economy and Regeneration Committee on Thursday 15th April. In the plan, the MDC reaffirmed its priorities for the next five years of regeneration activity in the area to the west of Stockport town centre. Continuing at its current pace will see 1,000 new homes delivered in the town centre by 2023, and a further 250 delivered annually up to 2026; new homes will include housing of all types and tenures for all income groups. The MDC will also use its influence with developers to drive up design quality in the area.
Already within the MDC area, Rise Homes have delivered the Mailbox, a build-to-rent conversion of the former Royal Mail sorting office, with other residential and mixed-use schemes moving forward at Stockport College, St Thomas’ Hospital and Weir Mill, in addition to the residential component of the redevelopment of Stockport’s bus station. Plans for the MDC to also add 1 million sq ft of commercial space to the town centre are also progressing with the latest phase of development at Stockport Exchange.
Chair of the Stockport MDC, Lord Sir Bob Kerslake, commented in his foreword to the plan that despite the economic slow-down brought about by the pandemic, Stockport town centre was continuing to prove attractive to investors; he said:
This Strategic Business Plan 2021-2026 is the second such document the MDC has produced since I became Chair shortly before the COVID pandemic began and I am pleased to say that, during a year of unprecedented uncertainty, the redevelopment of Stockport Town Centre has not only continued but gone from strength to strength.
“The market confidence we have seen in Stockport throughout the pandemic has been enormously encouraging with developers and investors backing the ambition of the public sector which allows us to accelerate work on housing delivery, generating additional investment capacity, and delivering the infrastructure the town needs.”
Over an anticipated lifetime of up to fifteen years, the MDC will re-purpose the 130 acres of Town Centre West, providing up to 3,500 much-needed new homes in a sustainable brownfield location alongside new employment
floorspace and the social infrastructure and amenity needed to support a growing community.
Also within the MDC’s strategic business plan is a continued commitment to transport connectivity, including investment into walking and cycling routes in the town centre, the recent submission of the business case for extending the Metrolink into Stockport, and improving infrastructure around Stockport Rail Station. However, during discussions on Thursday, councillors lamented the possibility that a direct Stockport to Manchester Airport rail connection could be removed as a result of plans to ease rail congestion in Greater Manchester.