As the local parish councillor for the Appleton Thorn ward affected by plans for a huge distribution centre on Green Belt land, I would like to place on record my outrage that the QC appointed by Eddie Stobart stated that democratically elected representatives of the area “have arrived at the conclusion that this development is acceptable”.
This is a complete distortion of the facts with not a single elected representative in the area affected being in support of it!
Yes members of the planning committee voted for it – but not one of them represents the area – in fact one of them didn’t even know the site in question!
Meanwhile Eddie Stobart say they have no “plan B” if their controversial plans to build a £75m National Distribution Centre on Green Belt land at Appleton Thorn is rejected by the Secretary of State.
This certainly wasn’t their attitude when the first planning application was rejected as I heard members of their planning team saying they had other sites in mind.
In reality this is the most convenient site next to their existing HQ and it appears to matter little that not only will it involve destroying our Green Belt but also open up the way for the even bigger and more daunting Six 56 proposal by Langtree on nearby land.
I found it particularly disappointing that Warrington Borough Council not only withdrew their objections but stated that the appeal should be allowed and planning permission be granted.
Whatever Planning Inspector David Wildsmith recommends after hearing all the arguments for and against, the final decision will rest with the Secretary of State due to the site being a “significant green belt development.”
As this appeal was heard taking into account the slightly revised second planning application, which was approved by the planning committee, instead of the original application which was rejected, let us hope that the secretary of state, on seeing all the submissions, will make the right decision for the local community – and ensure this area of Green Belt is protected for the benefit of future generations.
Warrington already suffers from far too much gridlock and pollution and transforming farmland into lorry parks and warehousing will not help the situation.
Meanwhile we continue to all suffer from the ongoing nightmare of the outdated swing bridges breaking down on a regular basis creating traffic chaos right across Warrington.
Talks have been going on with Peel for years now in a bid to resolve the problems and update and paint the bridges.
We now need actions not words!