OUTRAGED councillors at Appleton say they are horrified at proposals to build more than 9,000 houses on Green Belt land in South Warrington.
The plans will mean that all fields in Appleton will be built over, the character of Stretton and Appleton Thorn villages and the landscape of Higher Walton will be destroyed forever, they say.
Cllr Judith Wheeler (pictured) said: “It is madness to destroy beautiful countryside with some of the highest landscape value in Warrington.
“If the Green Belt has to go, it should be where the land is unattractive and has no amenity value and that means not all of south Warrington.
“The town would be made poorer by the loss of this countryside. It is not just local people who love their area, many from across the town appreciate the green space on their doorstep.
Cllr Wheeler says that with the exception of the Omega development, most of northern and eastern Warrington will be largely untouched by the plans. Yet the area is equally suitable and more sustainable.
“The 2017 Government White Paper on Housing states that ‘maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt, and clarifying that Green Belt boundaries should be amended only in exceptional circumstances when local authorities can demonstrate that they have fully examined all other reasonable options for meeting their identified housing requirements’.
“There are dozens of brownfield sites in Warrington that should be developed first before turning to other areas.
“Fiddlers Ferry is a potentially vast area that could contribute to Warrington’s housing needs and this does not appear to have been considered in the council’s plans.
“Regenerate the town centre, make it an attractive place to visit – it isn’t at the moment.
“Build on the brownfield and then, if Warrington is still an employment boom town, needing more housing, move onto the greenfield sites, put the infrastructure in and we will accept our share of housing.”
Cllr Wheeler says the council talks of a “garden city” – but says she has yet to meet anyone, anywhere in Warrington, who wants the town to become a city.
“A prosperous and attractive town yes, a city no.””