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Eco-friendly development described as “blot on the Grappenhall landscape”


PROPOSALS to build 228 new family homes on a greenfield site at Grappenhall Heys have been described as a “blot on the landscape” by nearby residents who have been invited to provide feedback on the development.

Developers Urban Splash has been selected by Homes England to deliver the final phase of development at Grappenhall Heys homes, created in partnership with Sekisui House, Japan’s largest housebuilder and the world leader in zero-carbon homes.
But the eco-friendly futuristic development has been described as looking like a “Russian goulag” and “shopping containers at a freight terminal” by nearby residents who say it is a “blot on the Grappenhall landscape.”
The site already has outline planning permission and now the developers are bringing forward detailed plans to deliver 228 family homes and over 2,800 sqm of new public open space, parks and ecological habitats.
Known as Grappenhall Woods, the proposed neighbourhood will be a new take on suburban living. Energy-efficient homes, built using modern methods of construction (MMC), set within woodland and green spaces that link into the local footpaths, cycleways and woods.
The developers describe it as “a place for families to live, where you can walk to the park, primary school or the local pub. Where the car is allowed but not dominant, where people live in harmony with nature and the environment.”
Offering a range of housing choices in terms of types, tenures, size and style of homes a total of 228 family homes are proposed, 30% will be provided as affordable homes.
There is also space that could be used as a community hub for events, children’s parties, private hires etc. It has the potential to be whatever the community needs, for growing vegetables or even a small multifunctional building that could be used as a workshop or for storage.
The current outline planning permission covers residential development only, but the developers think that there could be potential for some other non-residential uses on the site to support the existing community – like a village hall, local pub or farm shop.
The site will be accessed via existing roads: Curzon Drive and Lichfield Avenue to the east; and Stansfield Drive, Bretland Road, Jodrell Drive and Boddington Drive to the west. Two to three car parking spaces will be provided per home, plus visitor parking.
But the proposals have not gone down well with people living near the site.
One resident said: “These are awful. This is a slum in the making. Every effort must be brought to bear to stop this development. They are taking the mickey and WBC will let them get away with it unless we rise up, once again, and get this squashed.
Looking at the master plan it looks like a Russian gulag layout. Mindbogglingly detestable.”
Describing the proposed development as a “blot on the Grappenhall landscape” one resident said: “All previous developments are in ex-industrial areas. They may well be suited for that environment but not for an English village!”
Another resident commented: “Feels like the design quality of centre parks with the aesthetics of a freight terminal. These units are so obviously designed around building off site and moving in by truck.
“They look like badly disguised shipping containers, sorry ‘modules’ prefabricated off-site and hidden by trees.
“Could this be the next award-winning urban planning disaster as WBC seems to want to create a pilot for the garden city that just isn’t in keeping with the local area?”
Dr Alastair King from the Grappenhall Heys Residents Group said: “Grappenhall Heys Residents Group is already on the case with this, but clearly the more support we get from other South Warrington residents and interested parties the better.
“It is important that we all, at least in the first instance, feedback any comments to Urban Splash via their dedicated website and email address (see below link). They have specifically asked us for feedback on their proposals which were communicated to residents yesterday. Social media is obviously abound with a huge array of comments but we must try to encourage everyone to capture their thoughts and comments on the Urban Splash website as well, that way Urban Splash will get a clearer sense of what the residents of South Warrington as a whole think of these proposals.
Consultation is running until Monday 11 January 2021. Following this, Urban Splash will review all the feedback received before finalising their plans, which wthey will submit to Warrington Borough Council, who will also undertake its own consultation of their reserved matters planning application separately later in 2021.
Comments can be made via www.housebyurbansplash.co.uk/grappenhall-woods or by Email comments to: grappenhallwoods@urbansplash.co.uk


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


    • Warrington is the second worst town in the North West to breach safety levels for nitrogen dioxide. These proposed developments are in Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) around the M6, M56, M62 including Warrington Town Centre and the main arterial roads. This is a public health concern.

  1. I hope WBC do not let this monstrosity of a development pass.

    This will ruin the area, and goodness knows where else they will built this if this is approved.

    I’m afraid this will be the build of all future homes in the area.

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