WARRINGTON South MP Faisal Rashid is urging Warrington Borough Council to extend the consultaion period on the Local Plan Preferred Development Option.
He is concerned many people will not have had chance to have their say on the Local Plan with consultations which started on July 18 finishing on September 12 – a period when many people are on holiday.
The Preferred Development Option sets out the Council’s proposed approach to meeting Warrington’s need for new homes and employment up to 2037 and identifies the infrastructure required to ensure that Warrington’s growth is sustainable.
In a letter to council leader Terry O’Neill, Faisal said: “This is a significant piece of work and the involvement of local people in shaping the Plan is crucial.
“I believe it is essential that as many Warrington residents and businesses are able to comment on the proposals as possible. The decision to run the consultation for an 8-week period is welcome. However, I do have concerns that for the most part consultation events on the Plan are taking place during the school summer holiday period.
“The timing of consultation is prohibitive for a number of residents in Warrington. Many will not be able to attend consultation events or feedback into the consultation process. Constituents have raised concerns with me on this.
“The proposals are emotive. They will shape the future of our town and many people with have views on this. It is essential that local people have the maximum opportunity to have their say on the future of where they live, work and run a business.
“I urge you to look again at the consultation period and to extend it to a date in October that would allow a greater number of residents to have their say. By doing so you will enable a wider, more transparent consultation which avoids any perception that the outcome has been predetermined.”
If Warrington is to meets its development needs and aspirations to become a ‘New City’, then evidence gathered by the council is suggesting that around 20,000 new homes and a total of 363 hectares of land for business and employment will be required by 2037.