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“Council should not allow building in Green Belt” – MP

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WARRINGTON Borough Council should not allow building to take place on Green Belt land or green spaces within the borough.

This is the view of Warrington North MP Helen Jones, following the conclusion of the consultation exercise on the council’s local development plan.

She said: “ As I have already made clear, I think that the borough council would be wise to adopt a 15 year plan rather than the 20 year one they have suggested. There is enough housing land in Warrington to meet a 15 year housing plan. I know many councillors are minded to support such a move.

“ People have made it clear that they are opposed to building on the Green Belt and green spaces such as Peel Hall. The council asked for people’s views at their consultation and they should heed the voice of residents and act accordingly.

“ I hope the contributions to the consultation will be published so everyone is aware of people’s thoughts on this very significant issue.”
Ms Jones is a long-standing opponent of development at Peel Hall – one of the largest areas of open space in her constituency.

Satnam – the developer who wants to build at Peel Hall – appealed against the borough council’s refusal to grant planning consent in July.

Ms Jones immediately issued a “call to arms” to residents to carry on fighting the proposals.
But she expressed concern that the borough council’s draft local plan stated that Peel Hall was “suitable, available and achievable” for housing development

She said at the time: “Sadly, I believe these comments will weaken the council’s position at the appeal and any arguments they might put opposing any future applications.”

 

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14 Comments

  1. So given that the Government will simply ignore this sort of statement and implement its own plan that will simp!y cement over the Greenbelt what is the alternative? Surely the views and opinions of the residents of Warrington should be listened to and published. Time has run out on the local plan. As for Peel Hall there is still the Inquiry next year that has just been postponed that needs to be fought – why has this been delayed – is it too accommodate Satnam?

    • Well Geoff even the PM has spoken out against Green Belt development so hopefully, for a change we can have all political parties singing from the same hymn sheet!
      Would make a refreshing change!

    • What a load of scare-mongering rubbish!
      By ‘the Government’, you mean the Secretary of State, who in this case is certainly not the ‘bad guy’, that title belongs to WBC! It is WBC who are trying to implement a plan to concrete over the greenbelt – if the Secretary of State were called in to set WBC’S housing target all they would do is ensure that the amount of housing is as per government guidelines – which every town/city has to abide by.
      WBC wants to set housing targets MORE THAN DOUBLE the amount of Govt guidelines.
      I think the sooner the Secretary of State is called in the better!

      • It’s bad enough without wildly exaggerating the difference between government guidelines and the number of houses the Council proposes. Where does “more than double” come from? 900 on the government guidelines, 1100 in the proposals.

  2. Hold on she hasn’t got a grip of her cabinet so that’s no guarantee. As for the WBC chamber they love picking a fight just for the sake of it – but it would be good if some concern for the natural environment shone though after all thousands have taken part on the consultation so lets hope that views and comments do actually get read and considered instead of a stream roller approach that some officers but not their staff appear to be taking. Personally I think that a 20 year plan is too short – just imagine that the council had taken a more long term approach say 30 years that a local environmental trust is applying to the Upper Mersey Estuary.

    • You are quite right Geoff in saying the plan, such as it is, does little to enhance the environment and/or serve the best interests of the people of Warrington. Had more thought, than accommodating the favoured developers/developments (as has been acknowledged), gone into the production and development of the plan we would not, now, be scrambling around to pick up the pieces.

  3. Wendy Johnson-Taylor on

    Helen has always fought this battle with us and I’m glad to see she’s still doing it. What I’m bothered about is the Inspectorate allowing Satan to come forward in a “preliminary meeting” to put forward revised information before the appeal? Surely the grounds of the appeal must only be against our council’s decision for refusal and only just that. It seems that Satnam is being allowed to submit a ‘new’ application at the appeal which goes against planning legislation. I ask why?? It is biased and dangerous for the rest of Warrington fighting their corners. I hope Warrington Borough Council stick with us 200 per cent on this. After all it was unanimously turned down by councillors across all wards! Satnam has suggested that Peel Hall is “suitable, available and achievable” yet it continually fails to demonstrate how it will achieve this? After all these years Satnam has only been able to put forward a plan that delivers nothing more than an unsustainable nightmare. Our council should fight this all the way because it’ll be them an us all picking up the pieces for decades. Keep this last green space and turn it into a nature reserve … we need it! Once it’s gone we have no natural green space at all, we’ll be left with a concrete and soulless development that will add no value to North Warrington!!

  4. Wendy based on the ones that I’ve spoken at – it’s going to be a hard and dirty fight and Satnam can throw anything they like at it as well as dish the people taking the stand. Their solicitors will be lethal because that is what they are paid to do destroy the evidence against them. Just as happened at the Rixton Clay Pigeon Shoot but fortunately not at the Arpley hearing. Mp’s, Councillor and coucillors evidence needs to be strong and they need to be robust because they will be challenged hard and their credibility taken to task

    • It’s taken 20 years for Satnam to fail with their applications but with the finance and support behind then they will keep trying, possibly learning the errors of their ways in the technical failures of their successive attempts but hopefully the inspector will see through whatever they put forward this time and throw their plans in the garbage bin where they belong.

      There were so many things wrong last time and even then they got extra time and still failed to score or make corrections. Previous inspectors had highlighted issues and they failed to understand what they were suggesting or the planning riles and regulations.

      BUT never say never as they did undermine the great WBC plan with ease and opened up a can of worms plus they won the green space debate in the House of Commons and the status of greenbelt for Peel Hall was retracted. In doing so they opened up land for a new cohort of entrepreneurs and in doing so scored an own goal.

      Not only do they fail to understand or care about the natural environment they do not care about the community, people’s way of life or consultation – they only care about the bottom line and how much profit they can squeeze out of the place.

  5. The ‘great WBC plan’ – what are you talking about Geoff? The local plan which Satnam challenged was obviously flawed otherwise it wouldn’t have been open to challenge.
    What no-one seems to be addressing is the fact that we have a planning dept who have not managed to produce an adequate local plan and due to their failings we are at threat of losing green land. The question is – Is WBC planning dept fit for purpose?

  6. The local plan has to be “drawn up over an appropriate time scale, preferably a 15-year time horizon, take account of longer term requirements, and be kept up to date”.

    What real difference does it make to fix it at 15 years without looking beyond? Are young families getting a house now not going to have children who will want their own house?

    Bottom line is the government policy “to boost significantly the supply of housing” and the requirement for councils to identify a 5-year supply of sites (and where possible well beyond that) without which the presumption is that developers can apply for and get consent for even unsuitable sites.

  7. So does this sounds like you are in favour of the plan. I can’t see any children hanging around for that long – mine have already left for pastures new and doing well.

  8. It is my hope that someone in a position of power, will make it a priority to protect as much green space as is possible. As the little amount of green belt space that residents of Warrington can enjoy presently is earmarked for building and development. I foresee a concrete future along with paved areas that leaves no real habitat for bees, birds and other biologically necessary species that allow the ecosystem to remain balanced and provide a certain level of symbiosis to our world. After all without bees we have no food and of course no food results in starvation of people. Inevitably their will be no need for 24,000 homes as we will quite sufficiently render ourselves extinct at this rate of development.

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