At each election, I have stood for the importance of protecting our green belt land and have supported local campaigns to protect our green spaces. I have strongly voiced my concerns about aspects of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) and ensured that local residents have had their voices heard throughout the extended consultation process.
In each iteration of the GMSF there has been a lack of regard for Green Belt land. Here, in Cheadle, the loss of huge areas of Green Belt in Heald Green and Woodford removes green spaces which bring not just enjoyment to the community, but all kinds of wellbeing and health benefits. It creates further congestion and restricts space for leisure. These reasons are why I have supported various campaigns to protect our local Green Belt.
Although Greater Manchester needs more housing, this important goal must be realised in the right way to ensure that first-time buyers can stay in the area that they and their families have grown up in. The ideal of brownfield first, for this reason, is incredibly important.
Brownfield sites must be prioritised. Developing these pre-existing sites means we can ensure sustainability and the chance to preserve older buildings and breathe new life into them. Many of these brownfield sites are already well suited for housing with access to local transport links and infrastructure. I have already been working with the Government to press the importance of brownfield first and am pleased to say that over £81 million in Government funding has been awarded to the borough to ensure that brownfield sites can be readied for development and houses can be built – in the right places.
Our Green Belt land is protected for a reason. It is irreplaceable. Destroying this land is too high a price to pay for the Mayor’s plans.
I urge Stockport Council to tonight vote to protect our Green Belt and oppose the Greater Manchester Mayor's plan to concrete over huge swathes of Heald Green and Woodford.