February 24 Quarter Minutes


Minutes of Meeting of High Lane Village Neighbourhood Forum


Date: 20/2/2024 Time: 8pm Venue : High Lane Library Meeting Room


Present: Richard Jones, Anne Walker, Trish Freeman, Ian Carpenter, Geoff
Gaskell, Claire Porterfield and members of the High Lane community
Apologies: Tricia Conroy, Ann Young, Helen Stocks, Cllr Aron Thornley, Cllr
Colin Macalister

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved


1) Stockport Local Plan
     (i) Richard went through the recent update published on SMBC’s website. This
goes through all the things the council need to do in preparation for the
publication of the Plan and the checks they will make to ensure it conforms to
the National Planning Policy Framework. It also provides a Schedule of Dates
on page 4(see attachment). The Draft Plan will be out for Consultation in July/
August 2024. The date for the Plan’s final adoption is Mid 2026. A question was
asked: when will the draft Plan have weight?
    (ii) Once the Draft Plan is published the Forum will engage with the local
community letting them know about the proposal and arranging local
information giving sessions with opportunities for questions.
   (iii) It was commented that SMBC is making tremendous progress with the
developments in the town centre including the Transport Interchange, the new
apartments and the regeneration of areas such as the Underbanks and

2) Financial Update
The Forum has £676 .16 in its account. £13 surplus from the Table Top Sale
still needs adding. Geoff intends to get a paying in book from the Post Office.
On the 5th February the application to RBS for digital banking which Geoff had
applied for came through .

3) Grant Application
Richard has put in an application for £1300 to the MacNair Trust which is based
in Marple. He has received an update from them that the application is being
considered and will be decided upon at their next meeting in early Spring.
The purpose of the money is to support engagement of the local community
with the Stockport Local Plan. £700 has been requested to cover costs of flyers
and banners and £168 towards the cost of holding some public meetings and
for putting updates on the website. Richard has been told High Lane has only
received money from the Trust a few times so is hopeful we will be granted
some of the money applied for. If granted, the Forum will be required to
publicise the MacNair Trust – through references on flyers or the website.
At the end the NF will be required to provide confirmation of how the money
has been spent and return any unspent cash.
Richard thanked Janet for drawing his attention to the existence of the
MacNair Trust and Cllr Thornley for his help with making the application

4) Planning Updates
Ian explained that there had been very few planning applications submitted
this year- only one in fact since Christmas. There are five members in the
Planning group: Ian, Anne Walker, Trish Freeman, Trisha Conroy, Eryl Hughes.
Ian circulated a spreadsheet showing examples of how the Group respond
when planning applications come through.

(a) Affordable Housing
Ian expressed concern at the lack of affordable housing generally and in
particular in the new houses on the site of the old Thai restaurant/Robin Hood
pub. The new homes are 4 bedroomed properties which start at £430,000 .
Although the Forum supported building homes on the site, it was disappointed
at the type of homes built.
There were mixed views on whether builders can afford to build affordable
homes. Richard cited an article he circulated earlier arising from a Freedom of
Information request which stated that on average builders make a profit of
£60,000 per property showing builders could build affordable homes if they
chose to accept lower profit. Other factors influence the situation as well such
as the fact that developers will go to the Planning Inspectorate if councils
reject their bids.
Concern was also expressed that the Thai restaurant developers only paid
£10,000 Community Charge rather than £50,000 originally stated, saying they
cannot afford the higher sum. The rule can only be enforced for developments
over 10 properties which this is not.
It was agreed that in future the Forum will express its views clearly and
directly on the affordable housing issue giving a fully reasoned case and
relating the arguments made to the policies in the High Lane Neighbourhood
Action: Richard will contact SMBC planners to set up a meeting between the 4
Neighbourhood Forums in Stockport and the planners to address some of
these points and the questions raised earlier about the Stockport Local Plan.

(b) Site of Dog and Partridge
Work on creating a new Sainsburys store started on February 15th with site
clearance and to be completed in September. David Burks Chair of RA said he
had written to Sainsburys and got the name of the Project Manager who has
been in touch and will be holding a meeting on progress with him and other
interested parties.
Richard asked if the Forum could be kept involved with these updates and
David agreed and said he would share the date of the meeting once he knew it.

(c) Marple Neighbourhood Plan
Marple Forum are due to have their referendum in March and Malcolm Allen,
Chair of the Marple Neighbourhood Forum, had been in touch, asking for any
guidance the High Lane Planning group could share on how the group organise
responses to Planning applications and how they respond to the different
types of planning applications. Ian, Head of the Planning Group, has been
through this with Malcolm. He has shared the spreadsheets which he uses and
explained how the 5 members of the sub group each give their opinions by e
mail on significant developments. Ian reads through the opinions and draws up
a consensus view. In cases where there are contentious issues and big
divergences of opinion he also sends the individual subgroup members’
responses to SMBC so that they understand how the decisions have been
reached. SMBC have said this has been very helpful to them. Malcolm has been
invited to attend a High Lane Forum meeting if this would be useful to him

5) Forum webmail
Ian asked whether it’s a good idea to use the NF’s webmail when sending
planning responses back to the council. Richard stated that he should CC the
webmail address when sending the responses back, thereby creating an
additional record of the response. It was agreed that Claire will BCC the
webmail address when sending out the minutes or other communications.
It was also suggested the Planning Group annual summary from the AGM
should be put onto the website.
Action: Trish F to ask SEO if this can be done
A query was raised as to whether the password to the webmail needed
updating to be more secure.
Action: Trish F to check on this with SEO
Action: Claire to send webmail address and password to committee members
with the minutes

6) AOB
Claire shared the sad news of the death of Sheila Harrop who was a great
supporter of the Neighbourhood Forum especially in its early years, helping to
publicise the idea of the Neighbourhood Plan locally, attending meetings and
being very keen to promote the Plan for her local area. Richard and all the
Forum Committee expressed their gratitude for Sheila’s contribution.

7) Next Meeting


Date: 21st May 2024 Time: 8pm Venue: High Lane Library Meeting Room 


DB 15.03.24 CP