WARRINGTON South MP Faisal Rashid says he has been left “baffled” by the borough council’s decision not to defend the reasons for refusing Eddie Stobart’s logistics development on Green Belt Land.
He says he will be writing to the leader of the Council Russ Bowden and Chief Executive Steve Broomhead “demanding an explanation.
“I am baffled by Warrington Borough Council’s decision not to defend the first and second reasons for refusal of Eddie Stobart’s planning application.
“My constituents have raised significant concerns about these proposals due to the loss of countryside, impact on local ecology, traffic congestion, noise and air pollution. I share these concerns and wholeheartedly oppose Eddie Stobart’s application.
“In the case of this application, the economic benefits of the development fail to outweigh the damage done to our green belt. I was pleased that the council rejected Eddie Stobart’s proposals, a decision which was in line with local opinion. The subsequent decision not to defend the council’s rejection of the application is deeply disconcerting. We need a fully transparent planning application process in line with democratically determined council decisions.
“I will be writing to both the Leader and Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council to demand an explanation, pressing them to reverse this decision. The rejection of Eddie Stobart’s planning application must be upheld. I believe that any application which proposes development on Green Belt land should be subject to rigorous scrutiny. The council should defend its decisions when rejecting such applications. In doing nothing, this sets a terrible precedence and reduces public confidence even further. The outcome of any application should be fully transparent and demonstrate that all steps have been taken to prevent the loss of our green spaces.”
Council leader Russ Bowden has taken to social media, explaining he took no part in the decision making, which was made by members of the development control committee in a part 2 item.
He posted:” This is more misinformation being spread by people who don’t understand the planning process or the workings of a quasi-judicial committee.
“The Council hasn’t removed its grounds for refusal at all, they clearly still stand because those are what the appellant is challenging.
“The Development Management Committee have made the decision to not offer defence of those grounds on the basis of the QC advice received.
“It still leaves the matter in the hands of HM Planning Inspectorate to determine the application on appeal and in accordance with UK planning law, the National Planning Policy Framework and with due regard to WBC’s local planning policies.
“The Rule 6 parties (parish councils) will also still be presenting their case at the appeal hearing.”
warrington-worldwide broke the story yesterday – see below.