Introduction

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires councils to prepare and maintain a Local Development Scheme (LDS). The purpose of the LDS is to inform the public about the current planning policies for Stockport as well as to set out the programme for the preparation of the Local Plan.

When preparing new planning policies or policy documents the council must do so in accordance with the timetable set out in its LDS so that stakeholders and the community are informed about when they can become involved in the production of planning documents, in particular, when there will be periods of consultation.

Context

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (LURA) gained Royal Assent on 26 October 2023 and introduces a new system for the preparation of Local Plans. The government has indicated that there will be transitional arrangements for the ongoing preparation of plans, with a deadline of the end of June 2025 indicated for plans to be submitted under the current (pre-LURA) system. The government has also indicated that the secondary legislation required to guide the preparation of plans under the new system is likely to be published in the autumn of 2024.

Additionally, in late 2022 and continuing into 2023, the government consulted on proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The nature of the amendments proposed had potentially significant implications for how several key planning issues are addressed in Stockport and the lack of a final published updated NPPF for an extended period of time had the effect of causing significant uncertainty and, consequently, delay to local plan-making activity. The government finally published an updated NPPF on 19 December 2023 and so we are now in a position where this updated LDS can be produced.

On 22 May 2024, the Prime Minister announced that there would be a general election on 4 July 2024. There are legal constraints on our ability to make some decisions during the formal pre-election period and as such, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services, and concluded that it would not be appropriate to continue to consultation on the local plan until after the process of the general election is completed. This update of the Local Development Scheme is required to reflect the subsequent short delay in our plan-making process. It remains to be seen what impacts on the plan-making process might arise as a consequence of there being a new government. Our intention remains to progress the Local Plan as best it can, in spite of the changing national policy, legislative and political context.

You can read more about the scheme on the next pages. You can also download the scheme document:

Stockport Local Development Scheme July 2024

PDF, 196 KB

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