THE long-running battle over the future of open land at Peel Hall, Warrington will resume tomorrow (Wednesday) when a new application by developers Satnam Millennium will be considered by members of the borough council’s development management committee.
Outline planning consent is being sought for a neighbourhood centre including up to 1,200 homes, a supermarket, a pub/restaurant, hot food takeaway, offices and residential care home.
It is likely the committee will continue to oppose the application on highways grounds, in line with officer recommendations.
The scheme was first refused by the council in February 2017 but Satnam appealed and a public inquiry was held between Aril and July the following year. The Secretary of State dismissed the appeal in December 2018.
Following a successful legal challenge by the applicants, the High Court quashed the Secretary of State’s decision and ordered that the appeal be re-determined and in December last year it was confirmed the inquiry would be re-opened and heard by a different inspector.
The re-opened inquiry was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a new date in September is now being considered.
But in the meantime, Satnam have submitted further technical information for consideration as part of the appeal and it this document that will be considered by local planners tomorrow.
They will be told the council will need to review its case to effectively fight the appeal.
A report to be considered by the committee states: “It remains the professional opinion of officers that notwithstanding all the additional information provided, the appellant still does not demonstrate that the impacts from the development on the highway network would not be significantly adverse. It is therefore advised that the appeal is strongly defended on this basis.”
The scheme is opposed by about 2,250 local residents, the local MP, councillors and the local parish council as well as the Peel Hall Campaign Group.
Peel Hall consists of 69 hectares of mainly open land south of the M62, bounded by Elm Road, Birch Avenue, Poplars Avenue, Newhaven Road, Windermere Avenue, Grasmere Avenue, Merewood Close, Osprey Close, Lockerbie Close, Balleter Drive and Mill Lane.
About four hectares is recreational space operated by the borough council.