DEPUTY leader of Warrington Borough Council Cllr. Cathy Mitchell is urging officers to remove controversial proposals to build 160 homes on green space in Burtonwood village from the Draft Local Plan.
It follows a recent planning application to build 300 homes on land which had previously been allocated for offices at nearby Omega – both areas she represents in the Burtonwood and Winwick Ward.
Backed by Leader of the Council Cllr. Russ Bowden, she has now requested that the proposed allocation in Burtonwood be removed from the Draft Local Plan, following a large response from residents in relation to the recent consultation.
The draft local plan has earmarked 160 houses in the village, on land between Phipps Lane and Green Lane, opposite Burtonwood Community Primary School.
Cllr. Mitchell said: “I have been working on this issue for some time now. I learned just over a week ago that a planning application has been submitted for a further 300 houses on Omega, which falls within my ward. This is on a site which presently has planning permission for offices. The additional houses are not presently accounted for in the draft Local Plan.
“I fully understand the strength of feeling in Burtonwood, particularly given the proposals in St Helens draft Local Plan for housing in Gorsey Lane and Bold. I have therefore asked officers to remove the current Burtonwood allocation from the draft Local Plan if planning permission is granted. I understand that they are taking advice on this.”
Cllr. Russ Bowden, Leader of the Council said: “I fully support Cathy in this action – this is a brownfield site that must be used ahead of green belt. We are also in talks with St Helens Council to push back on their proposals for development on Gorsey Lane and Bold and discussing planned developments in Parkside, which could clearly have an impact on Winwick residents. I pay tribute to Cathy’s dedication in trying to finding a solution for residents, following the large number of responses to the Local Plan consultation.”
Last year more than 1,000 local residents set up an action group opposing the proposed development in the draft local plan saying it was an “abuse of green space.”
Any proposed changes to the Draft Local Plan would have to be consulted on again locally, prior to a council vote and moving it to the next stage.