Stockport is set to benefit from a national first and Andy Burnham’s Mayoral Development Corporation, the first time MDC powers have been used to regenerate a town centre.
Greater Manchester’s leaders have outlined radical plans to ensure the city-region can thrive at a time of national uncertainty where tens of thousands of affordable homes are planned.
Transformation in Stockport could be taken to the next level when Greater Manchester leaders meet on Friday (11th January).
The Mayor is to work with Stockport Council to bring forward a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) for the town which will look to unlock development sites and accelerate the speed of transformation within Stockport’s Town Centre.
It is the first time MDC powers have been used to regenerate a town centre.
Key to this is Stockport Council’s vision for Town Centre West, an urban village that would adapt the town centre to meet changing demands nationally.
As a walkable neighbourhood in the heart of Stockport, it’s hoped that Town Centre West will become Greater Manchester’s newest, greenest and coolest affordable urban neighbourhood.
It will provide a choice of homes and workspace where residents and business will have enviable access to public transport and be amongst the best connected in the region.
And as Stockport’s popularity as somewhere to live grows, new homes on brownfield sites across the borough become a priority, with developments like the Former Sorting Office site on the A6 already planned to start on site soon. This means Stockport has significantly reduced the amount of land they need to release for development in the Green Belt.
At the same time the Council wants to bring new homes across all tenures, and all of the supporting amenities, into the town centre, giving more people the chance to come and live in the heart of Stockport.
Councillor Kate Butler, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said:
“We need to bring new homes into Stockport for the future, but are doing all we can to protect our borough’s green spaces. The Mayoral Development Corporation will help drive these developments shaping the future of our town.
“As these plans for the MDC develop, we’d like residents and businesses to have their say for how it would bring change to our town centre.”
If consultation for the MDC is given the go-ahead by leaders at the meeting on Friday, residents and businesses will be able to have their say on these important documents. An online consultation will also be launched asking for your views on the MDC, as well as writing to all of the businesses in the Town Centre West area.
Greater Manchester’s Plan for Jobs, Homes and the Environment – the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – has been radically rewritten and the net loss of green belt has been reduced by more than half.
At the same time, leaders are also focusing on:
- plans for transport links for people to get around the city-region
- improvements to the environment to clean up our air, and
- new opportunities for people to access great jobs by attracting the best companies and building our citizens’ skills.
The Mayor said:
“In this time of national social and economic uncertainty, and with politics in Westminster paralysed by Brexit, Greater Manchester is taking the initiative and setting out an innovative blueprint to give people, communities and businesses hope and confidence for the future.
“When we consulted people on the first spatial framework, the public were clear that we hadn’t got the balance right. We listened, reflected, and can now present a radical re-write as promised. It also lays the foundations for radical reform in other policy areas such as housing, the environment and transport.
“Together, we are harnessing the full power of the most advanced devolution deal of any city-region in England for the benefit of our three million residents. And we are putting together the pieces of the jigsaw to reveal the big picture – a Greater Manchester where prosperity, opportunity, health, hope and happiness are widely and fairly shared across all our people and places.”
As demonstrated over Christmas, towns across the country are struggling under an old model as hotspots for shopping and commerce with footfall declining and consumers instead opting to shop online. Greater Manchester’s planned reinvention of these well-developed and well-connected urban spaces ushers in a bold new era for swathes of the city-region.
“The shift towards redeveloping our towns not only breathes new life into them but also relieves pressure to build on the city-region’s green belt,” the Mayor added.
“Towns are ideally suited to a bold new future as centres for 21st century living – they are developed urban spaces with local amenities close by as well as existing transport hubs for our buses, trams, trains and roads.
“It is a tough time for the high-street, but with Greater Manchester’s bold vision we can make our proud towns a success story once again.”
Transport is at the heart of the city-region’s ongoing success. Greater Manchester’s 2040 Transport Strategy Delivery Plan sets out all the transport improvements to be implemented by 2025, as well as longer-term plans that will in part ensure the success of the GMSF.
The transport plan identifies more than 65 projects that will be completed within the next five years, including a £160m new walking and cycling infrastructure across all 10 districts, expanding the city-region’s electric vehicle charging network and the new interchange in Stockport.
Greater Manchester’s vision is that by 2040, half of all daily trips in Greater Manchester will be made by public transport, cycling and walking, especially those shorter journeys around local neighbourhoods. This will mean a million more trips each day using sustainable modes of travel.
Poor air quality is now the biggest environmental risk to public health facing the UK, and Greater Manchester has been working hard for some time to clean up our air.
A coordinated plan to bring levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) within legal limits is currently being developed by all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester, working closely with GMCA and TfGM.
“As we outline the city-region’s new plans for homes and jobs, transport infrastructure, clean air and the environment, I want to highlight Greater Manchester’s commitment to putting people at the heart of everything we do. We are a city-region with a radical spirit in our DNA – we have always delivered industrial innovations whilst never forgetting the people that power that economy.
“Greater Manchester’s Plan for Jobs, Homes and the Environment is a plan for the people, set to make Greater Manchester the very best place to grow up, get on and grow old.”
The following background documents are available for download:
- Future of Greater Manchester report. This will be presented to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority meeting on 11 January and sets the context for tomorrow’s event. This paper will be formally published at 5pm: Future of Greater Manchester report.pdf
- Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework overview (subject to amendment following 11 January GMCA meeting). The full draft document will be published at 5pm: GMSF overview.pdf
- Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 – draft Delivery Plan 2020-2025 executive summary: Draft Delivery Plan (2020-2025) Exec Summary.pdf
All relevant papers which will be considered by GMCA on 11 January can be viewed here.
The rewritten spatial framework will be considered formally by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 11 January, along with a range of other papers. If adopted by leaders, it will then go out to public consultation.