THE public inquiry into controversial proposals to build 1,200 new homes at Peel Hall, Warrington, has been put on hold with local residents going through a “roller coaster” of emotions.
With the inquiry at Orford Jubilee Hood originally lised for 14 days, Inspector Richard Schofield asked for more detailed information in relation to Air Quality and Highways.
As the proceedings were put on hold local campaigner Wendy Johnson said:“There seems to be a common thread slowing the whole process down and the finger is always pointing at Satnam being unable to produce more reliable, up-to-date and realistic data.”
“Without this information proper assessments simply grind to a halt and the appeal cannot move forward.”
It will now be towards the end of May before a decision is made as to when the inquiry will resume. It is hoped it will restart on June 25th but if more ‘detailed modelling’ is required this could be set back to August 20th.
Campaigners still remain optimistic as Wendy explained: “We arranged a ‘grand tour’ of the site for the Inspector, the council and Satnam in week one. It proved to be a real eye opener. The following day Satnam announced that it had withdrawn its Option B masterplan. The appeal will now only focus of the original plan that was unanimously rejected by our council.”
“Residents’ Day also proved to be a real achievement. Everyone stood up and spoke perfectly, precisely and with real expert local knowledge which impressed Mr Schofield. He even allowed one campaigner to sing her protest song ‘Anyone Can Sell Their Grandmother’ and he even asked her for the lyrics! This was followed by an invitation to dance which he laughingly declared was a ‘first’ for him.
The day was filled with a mixture of tears, smiles and deafening applause. The Inspector appeared to be really taken by our focus and dedication.”
Wendy added. “Even though we are experiencing unexpected delays it will not dampen our determination to save Peel Hall. We will just have to play this waiting game.”
Residents say they expect to find out on either Friday, May 25 or Monday, May 28 when the Inquiry will resume.
Highways England are expected do some highway modelling next week and the Inquiry resume date will depend on the outcome of this modelling.
If Highways England do not have to carry out more detailed investigation, the Inquiry will resume on 25th June, 2018, but if detailed work required then it will be 20th August 2018.
Local campaigner Jon Parr added: “It feels like rather than representing the people of Warrington that WBC are trying to accommodate Satnam as best as possible to make this nightmare of a development a reality.
“To say we are concerned and disturbed at their inability to listen to the residents who ultimately pay their wages is an understatement!”