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New MP backs residents’ concerns over new homes in South Warrington

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WARRINGTON South’s new MP Faisal Rashid has taken up residents concerns over proposals to build up to 1,000 new homes at Grappnehall Heys and Appleton.

He has written to members of the Council’s Development Management Committee reflecting concerns that have been raised about two planning applications in Appleton and Grappenhall Heys, which were deferred by the development control committee recently.

Both applications were deferred pending further consideration of issues raised by local people and he says he is pleased to see that the issues they raised have been taken into account.

He commented: “The proposed developments have clearly been quite emotive and I have been contacted by a number of residents raising concerns about the importance of infrastructure and public services to support the extra houses that are the subject of the applications.

“A number of other key planning matters are also coming up in Warrington at the moment, including the Western Link proposals and the new Local Plan. We are a growing town and change is only to be expected.

“Whilst development is a very important part of promoting economic prosperity for Warrington, which in turn funds and safeguards our services, it needs to be done sensitively.

“I would encourage people to engage with the Council’s consultations on these important topics to ensure that the consultation process is meaningful. That way, residents can be sure that they have had their say.

“In addition, where there are community meetings organised on these issues, I will try to attend them when I am not in Westminster, or I will arrange for one of my team to come and take account of residents’ views.”

In the letter to the council’s development control committee he wrote.

“I appreciate that the date for submission of comments on these two planning applications has passed and I am therefore unable to make formal representations on behalf of my constituents to the Development Management Committee.

“I have only recently been elected as the new Member of Parliament for Warrington South. These two planning applications represent large scale developments in my constituency. Many of my constituents have valid concerns and objections about the adverse impact these applications, if approved, will have on their communities.

In particular my constituents are concerned about the adverse impact on:-
• local infrastructure;
• roads;
• congestion;
• leisure facilities;
• health services;
• schools;
• public transport;
• council service;
• wildlife.

“I agree that both planning applications, if approved, will put considerable stress on the existing communities in Grappenhall Heys and Appleton. The construction of a combined number of 770 dwellings will have a major impact in both these areas of my constituency.

“The existing infrastructure can barely cope with existing demands, our roads are congested particularly at peak times, our leisure facilities are fully utilised, our local health services and schools will have to be expanded to accommodate the further increases in demand, likewise council services. Furthermore the two sites also are home to many various species of wildlife and these need to be protected.

“I share my constituents concerns about both these planning applications and the stress they will place, if approved, on the Grappenhall Heys and Appleton areas of my constituency.

Can you please ensure that full consideration is given to all the points raised above when determining both these planning applications.”

Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid

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6 Comments

  1. Quote from the above article;
    “Both applications were deferred pending further consideration of issues raised by local people and he says he is pleased to see that the issues they raised have been taken into account.”
    Not quite correct,
    the applications were deferred “pending the local plan review”.
    The fact that the report to committee was ‘misleading’, the ecological report was ‘not fit for purpose’, the traffic impact assessment report was as understandable as ‘Mongolian’, there was a lack of regard to recent Government proposals for changes to planning policy, etc. etc. etc. meant that the ‘benefits’ of the proposals could not CLEARLY outweigh the objections. These were the issues raised by local people – and if they had been given the ‘weight’ they deserved the proposal would have been refused and not deferred.
    The increased ease with which developers have been allowed to encroach on Green Belt / green land is due to Tory Government policy. As well as contacting the Council’s Development Management Committee Mr Rashid might contact ‘Town Hall Chiefs’ and demand to know why a large majority, Labour controlled council is pushing Tory planning policy with such a vengeance as is not even seen in Tory controlled towns?

  2. If the local plan says we need 9000 houses in green belt, and this land down for housing for 30 years isn’t used for housing, does that mean we’d need 9770 houses in green belt?

  3. Stan, the proposal is for 24,000 new homes, 9,000 of which to be built on Green Belt land. It is a ‘proposal’ which has nothing really to do with ‘need’, it is to massively expand the town with the hope that this might help in a bid for ‘City Status’.
    The parcels of land in question are adjacent to land that has been classified Green Belt and it is widely believed that these should have been included in the Green Belt boundary.
    We do not ‘need’ to build on any of the town’s Green Belt land and not on these sites either, ALL our Green Belt / green land is precious and should be kept safe for future generations to enjoy.
    The type of housing that is proposed for these sites is not what Warrington needs. There is supposed to be 30% ‘affordable’ housing but ‘affordable’ is affordable in the context of the area. – 80% of the average price. As the average price is circa £500,000 then ‘affordable’ would be £400,000 which would not be affordable for most Warrington people in real need of homes.
    These areas, if developed would most likely end up as ‘dormitory estates’ for people who work, shop and spend their leisure time outside of Warrington. Why should this elite few have the Green Belt that we should all benefit from?
    If cheaper homes for sale and affordable rented homes are needed in Warrington, why would WBC be proposing expensive, green belt homes?
    The motivating factor seems to be the government’s ‘new homes bonus’ – for 6 years after building new homes the local authority can claim as ‘bonus’ the same amount as the community charge paid on these homes – which is not ring-fenced to the housing budget, it can be spent anywhere – even chasing status only projects, such as bidding to become a city.

  4. Widely believed by whom? By people who bought the existing houses next to this land knowing it was allocated for housing and are now objecting?

    The only reason there’s a new homes bonus (from this government?) is because there’s a need for new homes. Duh.

  5. STAN. The parcel of land in question is bounded on one side by the brook and Ancient Woodland and surrounded on all other sides by Green Belt. There are ‘Veteran’ trees on site which indicate that the Ancient Woodland once extended much further onto this site. Ancient Woodland & Ancient Woodland Meadow should be given the same protection as Green Belt. On the other side of the brook & woodland, housing has already been built. If this development goes ahead it will effectively box in the Ancient Woodland for the almost exclusive benefit of the future residents of these houses. Ancient Woodland is scarce and very precious, it is a unique natural habitat and haven for wildlife, it should be preserved for present and future generations.
    Do you seriously think it is right and just that it is boxed off for the exclusive use of an elite few? This is a precious site, which should be preserved for all of the people of Warrington and beyond.
    The protection of Ancient Woodland is important to people nationally – not just people who live nearby!
    Do not think that I object to this development because I am some kind of ‘Nimby’. I live in South Warrington, but not particularly close to this site and there are green fields near to where I live, also owned by HCA , which, although I would hate any green fields to be destroyed, I would prefer these to be built on rather than the proposed Ancient Woodland site. I am opposed to unnecessary development on green land, where-ever it may be and especially in Warrington when proposals are for vastly expensive homes for people most likely to be from outside of the town. Warrington needs homes that are genuinely ‘affordable’ to people who already live here and need them and if any green land must be used it should be for low cost and social rented homes.
    Re the ‘New Homes Bonus’ – this seems to be just a bribe to get councils to allow developers (Government sponsors) a free hand to build homes that there is no proof are needed. If it were truly for the benefit of people who really need homes it would be ring-fenced to be used for building social rented or such like.

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