CAMPAIGNING local councillors say the controversial Inland Border Facility at the former Shearings site at Appleton Thorn has brought the community closer together.
Initial fears over HGVs causing major traffic issues have not yet materialised with financial mitigations benefitting the local area.
Local Liberal Democrat Borough Councillors and Appleton Parish Council say they have worked tirelessly with residents groups in Appleton Thorn to ensure that their concerns about the Inland Border Facility were addressed as part of the package designed to alleviate the impact on the local area.
The mitigations negotiated with HMRC, WBC and residents include signage locally and on the motorway network, ANPR cameras, increased police presence, air quality monitoring and litter picking on local roads. There will be a community litter pick and tree planting by WBC and local schools in Appleton Thorn. A further sum has been allocated to a local residents’ group for two community projects.
Councillor Sharon Harris said, “All parties worked together to ensure that no one has been disadvantaged by the IBF. So far the number of HGV’s expected has not yet materialised, so the local community has benefited. Residents have been given a wide role in ensuring that these mitigations were for the benefit of the community and are generally happy with the money to be spent locally.
“The Conservative Candidate calls for green projects to benefit residents near the IBF at Appleton Thorn are misinformed, misleading and disingenuous. Warrington Borough Council was informed that there would be a facility at Appleton Thorn last October. Had he been involved in liaising with residents and HMRC since then, he would have known that money was allocated to all IBF sites throughout the country. The funding was not secured by our MP’s efforts alone.”
Councillor Judith Wheeler added, “The IBF was imposed on the local community through special government legislation over which we had no control. Our greatest fears at the outset have not materialised and it is pleasing to see that the IBF has brought the community closer together. It has been a privilege for us to have been part of such a positive project.”