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MP remains opposed to any Green Belt development


VIDEO: Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid says he remains opposed to any green belt development in the borough in the light of the council approving the draft local plan.

While the Labour controlled Borough Council plans to release 10 per cent of green belt to meet housing and employment needs, Faisal says “releasing one per cent without exceptional circumstances, is one per cent too much.”

But he says the council must deliver a local plan as it is a statutory requirement of the Government.

“This issue is not just facing Warrington – it is facing the whole country,” he added.

Faisal also stressed he had “no powers to make the borough council make a decision.”

“But we need to be sensible and deal with things in a sensible way. We are facing a housing crisis and attacking the council and local MP is not the solution.

“I can see some people using the Local plan for political gain – and this is something I will not do.”

He added that the local plan had to go through a due process, with nine weeks of consultation starting on April 15. Once this was completed the council would assess the feedback and then go back out to consultation on the proposed local plan.

Talking about the council’s relationship with developers like Langtree, while understanding peoples’ concerns it was sometimes necessary for the private and public sector to work in partnership.

An example of this was Wire Regeneration involving the proposed re-development of Warrington Bus depot, where land was jointly owned by the council and Langtree.

He added that it was also sometimes better for council’s to work with developers they had a relationship with, instead of unknown ones from out of town.

But he stressed he remained opposed to the Six56 proposal by Langtree on Green Belt land at Grappenhall because of the traffic implications for the town.

“I can see no exceptional circumstances why this should be approved,” he added.

Faisal Rashid with Gary Skentelbery

Green light for local plan should not be green light for green belt development



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.


  1. Interesting interview not a word about the Natural Environment or if there were, I missed it.
    As Chair of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum I find that MPs, Borough Councils and Officers, disengagement very disappointing. I studied at the same Polytechnic (Lanchester Polytechnic) as the departing Director, Andy Farrell whose degree was in Urban and Regional Planning and his approach appear to be very different to mine.
    Okay we are and have been fanatical about all matters to do with, Nature, Biodiversity, Linscapes (as advocated by Hugh Warwick), SSSI sites, protection of the environment and wildlife etc and realise that austerity is an overused word, over played card. Politicians just mess things up in our eyes.
    Granted what little resource we have has to be used affectively and efficiently but we need to use the tools we have to be effective and battle against these land grabbers, people who destroy trees and environments and get away with it for their planning applications, then there are those that simply go ahead and develop without consent and then go to appeal and trample over the WBC officers – take them apart piece by piece.
    Grappenhall that you show in your video would not have come back to life without volunteers. I visited Birkenhead Park yesterday for the parkrun and later to see the exhibition of Eyefund. What a magnificent park – the template for New York’s Central Park – people in clear Mayoral jackets helping, organising working for the good of the residents and doing an excellent job – ours turn up in casual gear.
    Not sure what the Brown Envelope reference was – but think it is probably a troll – well wake up and smell the cookies that goes with the job, just like Borough Councillors undermining each other – not pleasant but its there and you have to find your way of dealing with it. I still remember the threatening four page letter I received from a fellow Labour Councillor at least he came to the parlour to discuss face to face – this is just the tip of the iceberg – needs to be fought – the culture needs to change hence the resignations of MPs and the formation of the Independent Group.
    There should in the WNCF’s eyes be NO loss of Greenbelt – it is NOT necessary – may be we can build up instead of outwards, better use existing building and convert them – Joni Mitchel’s words helped save the Water Tower for a Number of years – use the brown field sites more intelligently, creatively – talk to the new kid on the block from Morgan Williams – see your video of home and yourself, Gary discussing the same – Callum has an excellent and positive view on the Town and at such a young age shows a fantastic mature view on the Town. He lives where our North MP does and yet his approach and understanding shows incredible insight.
    I’d liked the way you dealt with the telling off you got at the start of the video – it was a bit like a lecture in parts and stating the obvious.
    We at the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum used to take a neutral approach but having been jettisoned by WBC we have had enough and are now developing a much more stronger approach to protecting and supporting the Natural Environment as advocated way back when we were set up under Agenda 21 to promote Conservation Work, fight attacks on wildlife like Badger Bating that goes on in this town, shooting of wildlife, etc.
    I enjoyed my work as a Trustee of the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust and Mersey Forest for many years, sorry to stand down but I had to, to protect my health, no longer a young wiper snapper as my running times show only too clearly. We need Nature for our own sanity and health. It is our protector and needs our protection. As Climate change Champion I saw some good things going on, but it was wound up by the powers that be for being too successful. That was down to a Green Officer, solar panels on roofs and now factories, replacement of street lights et etc.
    One reason why the Peel Hall Development was thrown out was because of the lack of the developer’s pollution awareness – he is now in discussions with WBC to rectify this as he prepares for another submission. His failures since 1999 throws up a lesson(s) learnt that he learns from. However, as Arnie used to say I’ll be back – Yes Colin will be reading this and plotting his next scheme after all given the pittance he paid back in the last century is nothing short of the millions he potential will make out of selling the planning consent permission to others. MONEY talks don’t they say, and he has shed loads to play with? Advocates are making a fortune out of it and your money is being spent trying to counter his poor ideas and plans.
    I haven’t a view on partnership between developers and council officers it’s all smoke and mirrors – fake news and all that stuff – who knows what really goes on – but loads of conspiracy theorist have a great time throwing things up in the air.
    What we need is a carefully produced plan – a long term realistic one that considers the needs of the citizens, I used to be involved at arms-length with those produced by a local Utility company both in the private and public sector – they have such skills and on our doorstep – but much more is required – it’s definitely not easy and no one has a crystal ball. BUT when the government threatens to come in and trample all over a Borough one must ask who is wagging the dog’s tail?
    As an Asthmatic I would rather suffer from a natural hay fever induced attacks than breathlessness caused by poor air quality from successful & stupid planning applications.
    At least I will recover in time from Hay fever but NEVER from pollution that causes further Cancers, lung disease, heart attacks etc etc.
    We need to get a firm grip on our Network Structure – it should have been tackled at the New Town stage but now we are left to the legacy hostage of the 1970’s or whenever it was. I’ve only just discovered the beauty of Newton-le-Willows Railway Station – helpful staff, free car parking, good access to Liverpool and Manchester etc.
    What I learnt at Lanchester Polytechnic in Town and Country Planning and Economic and Regional Development painted a totally different picture than what has been developed piece meal in this borough. A successful plan is not made over night a bit like a an unsuccessful #Brexit – what a farce that has been and continues to be with poor leadership from all party leaders who are playing this complicated games of chess like idiots – a contest played out to the delight of the media pack who scurry around picking the poor meat off the skeleton of a fake idea.
    I must say that your interviewee did look under the cosh and very nervous – I hope you made up afterwards – you Independent, impartial person.

  2. Faisal’s comments on it being better for WBC to deal with “developers they know than others from out of town,” is very unconvincing. There is an obvious conflict of interest when our elected politicians and/or WBC employees essentially sit at the same boardroom table alongside developers. Particularly so when this situation has existed for some considerable time, and the tangible effects of it are all too obvious.

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