Inspector rejects Peel Hall housing plan


THE controversial plan to build 150 homes at Peel Hall, Warrington has been thrown out by a Government-appointed inspector.
Local residents and councillors have welcomed the decision of inspector Julia Gregory, following a major public inquiry held in May.
Developers Satnam Millennium had appealed against Warrington Borough Council’s failure to deal with their planning application for land off Windermere Avenue, Grasmere Avenue, Warrington.
The proposals also included improvements and refurbishment of sports pitches, floodlights and improved car parking at Grasmere Avenue and Windermere Avenue. The borough council had indicated that it had no objections, in principle, to the improvements to the sports pitches – but the inspector rejected the whole plan.
Ms Gregory said the site included some of the best and most versatile agricultural land in the area.
While a residents’ travel plan could be drawn up, it would not make up for the inadequate local travel facilities. Most journeys to the nearest facilities would be too far to consider walking.
The improvements to playing fields proposed would address existing shortfalls but would be remote from the proposed development. Primary school facilities would be more than a mile away.
She concluded the scheme would not comprise a sustainable development.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones, (pictured left) who gave evidence on behalf of the community during the public inquiry said: “I am delighted by this result and it rewards the efforts that local people have put in.
“I hope Satnam will now learn their lesson and stop inflicting these unnecessary applications on the local community. The Inspector has made our position quite clear.”
Clr Steve Roberts said: “I welcome this news which will be a considerable relief for local people who have fought these plans for many years.”
Cllr Billy Lines-Rowlands added: “This is great news for residents of Cinnamon Brow. This is a tribute to the efforts of local people, Helen Jones MP and the Warrington Nature Conservation Society.”
Meanwhile The Fight against Peel Hall Development Committee is also rejoicing at the decision.
Margaret Steen, committee chair said “I was delighted to receive an email from the Inspectorate confirming what I had just seen on line. I am SO HAPPY.
“Although it was disappointing that the Inspector ruled that Mill Lane could be used she refused it primarily on the grounds of not meeting the Core Strategy requirements and lack of Sustainability. The appeal was refused and that is what matters most to me.”
Spokesperson for the group, Cllr Geoff Settle (pictured) added: “Everyone has worked hard but no one has put in as much time and effort as Margaret. She must have put in over 500 hours during the whole of the campaign. We would have really struggled without her knowledge, experience and sheer determination and this victory should be dedicated to her.”
The committee would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made a contribution by attending meetings, writing letters, putting up banners and posters, printing and posting leaflets. The committee recognises that it was a huge community effort and believes that this is one campaign that people will remember for a long time.

Pictures show protestors who packed into the Parr Hall to oppose the plan


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. Many thanks Warrington Worldwide thanks for getting the news up so quickly and letting everyone know about the successful Inquiry outcome, very much appreciate 🙂

  2. Many thanks for all the positive messages that are flooding into the Fight against Peel Hall Development and Woodland and wildlife against the development of radley common Facebook sites 🙂 It’s certainly a result that everyone has been waiting for.

  3. we have 2 people to thank for this and they are helen jones and steve roberts, in my opinion no one else. this man geoff settle is suggesting that we thank someone who most of us wouldn’t know from adam and hasn’t done a jot, a bit like geoff settle himself I am sorry to say. anyway that is my opinion and as someone who lives near where these houses would have been I want to say a big thank you to mr roberts who has had these peoples cards marked from day one, we all really appreciate what you have done.

  4. I wouldn’t try to take any credit away from Helen Jones (she’s been consistent on this throughout), or Steve Roberts.

    If you don’t know the others from Adam then it looks to me like you’ve not really been involved in this in the communityl: I know exactly who Geoff means (and he’s amongst their number), and I can’t thank them enough.

    You’re either a Labour sockpuppet or embarrassingly misinformed.

    This is great news, well done to all involved.

  5. Dizzielizzie,

    Another person has just written on their Facebook site that

    “There is absolutely no doubt that the dossier presented by Richard (who led the Parkside campaign) was the clincher..The immense amount of very detailed legal and environmental objections he presented were invaluable..I know many people played large parts but Bob Haskew-Jones should be given a massive vote of thanks for his campaign to protect the site via the Queen Elizabeth Fields initiative and for bringing Richard into the fight.”

    In reply I have written that

    “Lots of people for lots of reasons need to be credited. It was a community effort – the QE2 was to protect the Park not the Farmland and the name of the application was done by Satnams to add to the confusion and become a smoke screen and they achieved that objective but that’s all they achieved. Will they appeal to Mr Pickles and/or the High Courts like they did last time – maybe who know? That could be another fight for another day ….. one thing is for sure we haven’t heard the last on this matter and people should be prepared to carry on the fight for many years to come.”

    I got involved with local residents of Poulton North because I believed that the development had a direct impact on my constituents this lead to me being involved with Houghton Green residents and a committee was formed which had representatives from Grassmere and the surrounding area, one of these people was Ste Dodd who had a massive impact in collecting wildlife evidence and informing residents in his neck of the woods.

    I am simply congratulating all people from this large community group that spread over a very large area and that would include Cllr Steve Roberts. He has made his statement above and has not been ignored. As a colleague and fellow councillor I have worked and campaigned for a lot with him over the years and I know how hard he works.

    The wards of Populars and Hulme, Poulton North and Winwick plus Parish Councils Poulton with Fearnhead and Winwick all worked together with one objective to get the application rejected and together we achieved this objective, but we still need to keep out eye on the ball and watch out for Satnam’s next move.

  6. I was not trying to cause offended just stating my opinion. geoff settle might bring all of these names into the mix but as far as a lot of people are concerned there was much more work done by helen jones and steve roberts whatever you say. I do not believe that it was anything to do with richard. you talk about the qe2 status geoff, but I am led to believe that you did not even want that at the start, this sounds to me like someone jumping on a bandwaggon, whereas steve roberts was very active from the start and made sure that the council knew we did not want these houses. I also agree with the person who said that helen jones has been consistent and my opinion is that the same cannot be said of geoff settle. it is true that I have not been very involved in this but that is ecause of a family illness that has stopped me but I an only say what I see. sorry geoff settle but there are only 2 people as far as I am concerned, both who turned up to the public enquiry when it was held at Orford which you could not even be bothered to show up at.

  7. Thanks fugtino – maybe I could have included more people by name in my little latter part of the press release and a number of people are having a go at me for certain ommissions – however when I only had a few minutes from finding out about the decsion my contribution and to be quick and short – the people who helped as you say know who they were as do most people. I just hope that they aren’t put off by being missed out and that they are prepared for the next battle – which I’m sure won’t be too long away. That must be out focus for their next submission because back they will come with a modified version 🙁 and we will need all the help we can get. Sorry to end on a low note and I hope that I am wrong.

  8. The people to thank for the result are WBC, for refusing the application (even if they were a bit late doing it!) and the inspector who reached a decision based on the FACTS rather than the rhetoric of the two sides.

    Funny really, that with all parties opposed to this development, there is now argument about who should take the credit. Lib Dem, Conservative and both the local Labour parties were united in their opposition but I repeat: FACTS are what matters

  9. Dizzielizzie

    You are persistent in you argument – I am not nor never have been a Poplar and Hulme Councillor that is Steve’s role as you say and he led your campaign. I led the one in Poulton North and arranged a meeting back in October to mobilise opinion as well as attending one in the Plough and a couple in the Mill House. I don’t recall one in Orford although there was a Satman meeting at the Hub. There was a meeting at the Mill house that I believe Steve was at but I was at a Poulton North Residents Association meeting and my wife went instead. She and several people reported back to me about what went on so I was well informed. As I said I hope that people will rally around when Satman resbmit their next application – I belive that it will be a lot tighter and possibly as a number of people has said – the 150 homes was not a real application it was something to test the water – they now have the Inspectors report to consider how they change their approach. In addition once the Core Strategy feedback from that Inquiry comes back they I belive that they may well be going for the whole estate – 1500 homes – it all depends on what Inspector Foxes report says. I hope that you will be able to help with the new fight because the battle goes on.

  10. Emanon the political parties are united as are all the people something that Sartnam tried unsuccessfully to expolit but didn’r success in doing – there are however always a few people who will be disatisfied whatever the outcome but that’s life You are right we do owe a lot of thanks to the officers who were dealing with a masive workload at the time and judging by the several appeals down the line will continue to be under pressure for forthcoming Inquiries 🙁

  11. dizzielizzie there are many people to thank each one a piece of the peel hall jigsaw that slowly built into very strong community picture.( who most of us wouldn’t know from adam and hasn’t done a jot) would not apply to a single one of have no idea how much work went into fighting the appeal.your comment insults everyone that was involved. Helen did what was demanded of her (she was great at the hub) by an outraged public.well done everyone involved i guess that does not include you dizzielizzie.

  12. Thanks Ste you and your Facebook Site made such a huge contribution – in my press release which was the letter half of the one on Warrington Worldwide above thanked all the community in every shape and form – I only mentioned one person so I have no idea why dizzilizzie keep persisting in what they are saying.

    Ste your evidence on the wildlife was great, invaluable and took you month to compile there is no one alive who knows the patch now like you do – so well done.

    Now as for the QE2 business as a member of the Friends of Peel Hall Park I know very well the hard work that they did and continue to do – my initial decision to not give my whole hearted support to the application was in hindsight perhaps not a good one as I thought that there was enough protection for the Park BUT the more I learnt about the threat to the nearby farmland on which the development was to take place and the history back in the year 2,000 and more recently attempts to plough and burn the field in question I realised that more support was required.

    So when I became a member of the Local Economy Committee I spoke up along with other committee members in favour of the application. I also highlighted another piece of land that we wanted protecting. The vote was unanimous and off it went before the executive where it was endorsed and approved for submission.

    As you say there were so many people playing their part in the community especially in Houghton Green to every man and women. Everybody played there part in the jigsaw of opposition. Many of them very fearful for their living space and environment.

  13. dizzylizzie – this post is amazing for someone presumably a lay person with no political axe to grind you are making a large number of accusations about someone you have never heard off 🙂 How can you criticise me without even having heard of me? I was not at the Orford hub because I had a long standing engagement out of the UK at the time but 4 committee members of the Fight Against Peel Hall Park were there and I was in contact with them before and throughout the 3 day hearing and together we worked extremely hard on the case against Satnam. As your sources will tell you the dates of the hearing were changed late on in the day and much as I would liked to have taken part I made sure that my views and opinions were conveyed to the Inspector as new evidence.I also think that the evidence presented by the FAPHP committee members opened up a can of worms for Satnam especially citing the Bristol case which even the Inspector was not aware of – surely that was significant?I could write a book on the subject staring with when I mounted my own campaign in Cinnamon Brow as the ‘Black Cheshire Cat’ back in the year 2000 or maybe before – it was only a few posters in the village shop and I used an alias – but every little helps:-)

Leave A Comment