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