Stockport votes against Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plan

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construction on a new housing developmentImage source, PA
Image caption,
Councillors who voted against the plan said the loss of green belt was "too high a price to pay"

A blueprint for nearly 180,000 new homes in Greater Manchester is in doubt amid a councillor rebellion.

All 10 local authorities needed to endorse the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plan for it to proceed.

The project has been controversial since its first draft in 2016 due to the sacrifice of some greenbelt land.

Now opposition groups at Stockport Council voted down the motion at a "bitter" meeting, the Local Democracy Reporter Service said.

Stockport must now come up with its own plan to meet government house-building requirements.

'Rotten fruit'

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework has been rewritten twice following protests across the region.

The version that went before councillors meant 1.2% of Stockport's greenbelt would potentially be developed over the next 17 years.

Liberal Democrat councillor Mark Hunter said the plan should not be a "licence to concrete over the countryside".

"They must be the right homes in the right places," he said.

Image source, Alistair Chapman
Image caption,
Protests against the proposals were staged across Greater Manchester

Conservative Mike Hurlestone said: "We are not against a joint plan, but it has to be the right plan."

He said small communities such as Heald Green, Bredbury and Romiley, would have had to "bear the brunt of mass development".

Labour councillor David Meller said the vote against the spatial framework was "almost unbelievable".

He said a local plan would require more housing and more green belt use, as developers would "cherry pick" areas.

"We tried our utmost to persuade. The consequences of this will soon bear some rather rotten fruit," he tweeted.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett previously said a "plan of the nine" would be considered by the remaining boroughs if Stockport rejected the plan.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Combined Authority said while it "regrets" Stockport's position it would "continue to work to build a sustainable future with good homes, jobs, and growth".

He said Greater Manchester leaders would meet to "consider the next steps" in the coming days.

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