We are fortunate to live in a part of the world surrounded by the natural beauty of the English countryside. Regular readers will be aware of my longstanding campaigns to protect local greenbelt land from large-scale developments, including those arising out of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
I have recently joined forces with my constituency neighbour, Andrew Gwynne MP, to oppose plans to for a large extension to the Bredbury industrial estate deep into the Tame Valley. We’ve put party politics aside and will work together on behalf of local residents.
I know that people in Bredbury and Woodley greatly value their local greenbelt land. As do residents across Stockport and its surrounding villages, including in High Lane, and I have long been campaigning to protect local green belt land there from massive housing developments.
The Draft GMSF was consulted on earlier this year, and I, along with the Council and fellow neighbouring MPs made strong representations about the number and location of sites that were proposed on greenbelt land.
In order to minimise the pressure for development on the Green Belt, it is vital to identify all existing brownfield sites, land which has previously been developed, including vacant and derelict buildings, in order to optimise their potential for development before considering greenfield sites.
Some good progress has been made in this area through the use of Stockport’s Brownfield Register run by the local Council. It has been able to identify sites within the urban area suitable for the development of up to 7,200 housing units.
It is important that protections for our precious countryside remain in place, and that the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework identifies more brownfield sites as a priority for development. I will be continuing to support and promote a 'Brownfield First' approach to new development in our area and will be making this case strongly when the revised GMSF is published in the autumn.