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Time to take a deep breath for the sake of our Green Belt!

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THE onslaught on our Green Belt in South Warrington continues apace, with plans for two huge distribution centres proposed at Appleton Thorn and Grappenhall.

One involves plans by Eddie Stobart to build on green belt fields opposite their existing HQ, which by coincidence has recently been purchased by Warrington Borough Council for £26.1m.

The other involves an even bigger logistics and manufacturing development by Langtree on green belt land surrounding Bradley Hall Farm, which is currently a working dairy farm.

By coincidence Warrington Borough Council and Langtree work together in partnership with Wire Regeneration – the aim of which is to regenerate the Southern Gateway of Warrington town centre.

Clearly these close relationships cause concerns with members of the public as it begs the question of how can these developments be considered impartially, when you are landlord of one and working in
partnership with the other?

All this before we even know what is going to be revealed in the long awaited, amended, Preferred Development Option?

The speed of these major developments is causing huge concerns for residents living in the south of the borough – and if they ever get the green light, will have huge implications on local highways.

It is all well and good promising to make highway improvements but all this will do is move the problem further down the road.

A new motorway junction and highway improvements in the North at Omega, have done little or nothing to improve the traffic bottlenecks we all face every time there is an accident or break down on the local motorway network , which is now almost a daily occurrence.

Warrington’s highways and the surrounding motorway network are already over capacity and with thousands of new homes already on the horizon, these are indeed worrying times.

I would urge everyone to take a deep breath, while we still can, before we lose our Green Belt for ever and ensure whatever future development takes place, is something which can be accommodated without serious health and traffic implications for our future generations.

After all we have been told we have 12 years to save the planet from global warming – and one thing which will make the air we breathe even more polluted would be more bumper to bumper HGVs on our roads and surrounding motorway network.

The Green Belt land opposite the existing Stobart’s HQ

The Grade II Listed Beehive Farmhouse

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six 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. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

2 Comments

  1. Well said.

    You have picked your words carefully – as a journalist must. Many of us might harbour darker thoughts about all this.

    Speaking personally, I can’t help combining this story with the recent one about members of the public being barred from asking supplementary questions. Democratic debate is stifled in our town, which doesn’t exactly reassure us about accountability.

    • Democracy and the often promised openness and transparency Jim are cast aside once those seeking our votes are elected. Thereafter all the pre-election promises are cast aside to be supplanted by adherence to the party line and a seeming ready indulgence towards accommodating the wishes of developers. With, as you say, a marked determination by those elected to stifle reasonable and reasoned debate or scrutiny of their actions. Leaving aside the possible influence of councillors on the boards of some developers and hence a probable conflict of interest in the planning process etc.

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