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.