13 January 2015

I wanted to update you on what happened at the Stockport MBC Planning Committee meeting last Thursday, in case you were not able to make it.

Despite the fact that there were over 1,000 written objections and only one letter of support, as well as a 14,000 signature petition against the proposal to build 70 houses for sale within the boundary of Reddish Vale Country Park, the Planning Committee voted to grant approval citing as a special exception the need to raise money from this development as a contribution towards the cost of the Brinnington Regeneration Scheme.

There was a lot of anger and disbelief at the way the meeting was conducted and the very one-sided slant that was presented both by the planners and proposers of the scheme. However, as the land in question is in green belt, which is a national protection, the final say will rest with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, who does have the power to ask the Planning Inspectorate to call in the application for a planning inquiry and make recommendations to him as Secretary of State. He does have the power to overturn planning permission in those circumstances.

I did ask the planning minster Nick Boles a few months back about what would happen in a case such as the Reddish Vale one and I attach below his reply.

What is interesting is that he says that any changes to green belt in order to be developed requires green belt boundaries to be amended through the local planning process and as far as I can see Stockport MBC has not done this, but have instead granted planning permission for a development within green belt rather than amending the green belt first.

If people want to make their views known to the Secretary of State you should write to him at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU quoting the Stockport MBC planning reference.

Please rest assured that both I and the Reddish Labour councillors remain of the view that an encroachment into Reddish Vale Country Park should be avoided, not least because it sets a very worrying precedent for the future and the country park is greatly valued by all the communities that surround it.

Best wishes,


Shadow Health Minister