SIX parish councils in the south of Warrington are calling for a new Local Plan for the borough.
South Warrington Parish Councils Local Plan Group has come up with the idea following the borough council’s decision, on October 2, to pause the preparation of the Warrington Local Plan.
The group objected to the plan last year when a public consultation was held into the proposed submission of the local plan.
But now they have welcomed the decision to pause preparation of the plan and suggested this present an opportunity to think again.
Group chairman Cllr Cliff Taylor said the group had objected to the plan because it required the release of large areas of Green Belt and was “clearly undeliverable”.
He said: “It risked rejection by a planning inspector at the next stage of the process, the Examination in Public.
“We believe that the pause gives the borough council an opportunity to think again about its proposals and to take into account the dramatic external changes that have occurred since the proposed submission version was prepared.
“We have prepared a report which outlines the reasons for our stance and suggests possible alternative routes the council could take. There is now an opportunity to develop a new Local Plan which would be sound and would take into account recent events such as the economic effects of Covid-19, the uncertainty over Brexit and an increasing concern by the public about climate change.”
Cllr Taylor said the group believed a change of course now would have advantages for the whole of Warrington in terms of developing the town centre, reducing inequality and tackling environmental issues. An executive summary of the report had been sent to all borough councillors, senior council officers, parish and town council clerks and the town’s two MPs. The full report would follow in a couple of weeks.
He added: “On October 27 at 6.30pm we will be holding a Zoom meeting to set out our views to the public. A second Zoom meeting especially for councillors and officers will be held on October 29 at 6.30pm. At both of these we will show a short video and then hold a discussion during which members of our group will answer questions on our proposals. We will announce joining instructions for these meetings in mid-October.”
The six parish councils are Lymm, Stockton Heath, Appleton, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Stretton and Walton.