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Peel Hall campaigners overwhelmed by messages of support and urge council to pursue legal challenge

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SAVE Peel Hall campaigners say they have been inundated and overwhelmed with responses to continue their 30-year campaign against a plan to build 1,200 homes on the greenfield site.

Campaigners are now calling on Warrington Borough Council to pursue a legal challenge in a bid to overturn last week’s decision to develop the last, natural green space in north Warrington.

Secretary of State Michael Gove has given the green light for outline planning permission to build a 1,200 home ‘multi use neighbourhood’ following a High Court intervention by landowner Satnam Millennium Ltd against a previous public inquiry that had been dismissed.

But campaigners are adamant that last week’s announcement should be challenged and say that they have been amazed and heartened by the messages of support pouring in from all over the town.
The decision has received national attention with a picture of a fox on Peel Hall, taken by local campaigner Ste Dodd, being shared on the facebook page of environmental campaigner Chris Packham.

Wendy Johnson-Tayor said: “We were initially devastated by the news. We thought we had got this. As soon as the announcement was issued our group was inundated by hundreds of messages from all corners of Warrington and this includes pollical parties and organised groups. Folk have been bolstering us up by pledging money to fund judicial proceedings, calling for a Town Hall rally, offering to chain themselves to the Golden Gates and volunteering to take part in a human barricade to stop construction vehicles entering the site.”

“Feelings out there are running high. Social media was flooded, people are stunned and outraged, and their messages just keep on coming.” She added. “If Warrington Borough Council are really listening to us and do not want to see Peel Hall developed and want to protect it, as they keep stating, then instigating a legal challenge to overturn this decision should be a no-brainer.”

“I find it unfathomable that two Government planning officers with the same experience and qualifications can be poles apart when considering the same application. The one thing that was significantly different between the two inquiries was the extended deadlines that were offered to Satnam to recalibrate and submit new data. We definitely believe this appeal was skewed in favour of the appellant.”

Campaigner Margaret Steen said: “It is unbelievable that a Planning Inspector & Secretary of State recognise the development of Peel Hall would cause a very significant level of harm, increase the level of congestion, increased queues and delay to road users, including buses, and significant impact and conflict with the development plan policies. Just what is the point of having a Local Plan with development plan policies to protect residents if the plan policies can then be ignored.”

Fellow campaigner Jim Sullivan said “The logical next step would be a legal challenge coupled with the removal of the site from the Local Plan. Should this application go forward then it is imperative that local people have a clear voice in all of the negotiations around conditions – if we are left to pick up the pieces, we must be given some say in how the project is managed”.

Ste Dodd said: “I don’t think Peel Hall was protected as claimed by the council. It has always been included in the local plan despite our requests to get it removed”.

The group say they have now written to council Chief Executive Professor Steve Broomhead and are keen to start discussions with officers to move forward. A legal challenge must be made within six weeks of the decision announcement.

Meanwhile, the fall out from the decision is still causing outrage on social media – a snap shot of comments can be seen below.

 

“Precious green space gone forever, traffic massively impacted due to the road infrastructure being no where near able to cope, homes within spitting distance of the M62… terrible decision. All about money. WBC should be ashamed”.

“Warrington Borough council are absolutely useless”!!

“This is absolutely disgusting. This is a real let down to people who live here and have fought this for many years, as the impact will be horrendous. WBC you should be ashamed”!

“Awful decision. Wildlife destroyed, traffic is already horrendous round there, one of the few green spaces in Warrington North. Also not needed with the amount of new houses/flats already going up around Warrington. The planning inspectorate clearly do not know our area.”

“All part of the master plan, WBC pushing for the City status… remember next time we Vote.”

“Another 2500 cars in Orford then!!! Do they not think the traffic on long lane/sandy lane/Golborne Road all off the a49 is bad enough as it is!!! Approving houses everywhere ONLY because they want to become a city so they can generate more government funding in turn making us all pay for it anyway with council tax hikes!! Prove me wrong”!!!

Absolute joke! We have this as well as the university campus housing estate ….imagine the traffic

“We lived in Houghton Green Village, Mill Lane, from 1988 to 1996, and fought Satnam all the way to the High Court. We won a stay of execution which has lasted 30 years. Well done to everyone involved over those 30 years, so much fund raising, stress and time spent. You are all amazing you did everything you could, shame on WBC karma will prevail”…

“If WBC were to stick with backing the campaigners they would have removed this from local plan”!

Political fall-out over Peel Hall as Labour MP blames Tory Housing Minister while election opponent accuses council of betraying residents


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three 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. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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  1. Why does WBC always speak with forked tongue on this site, to both the people of Warrington and in its purported ‘resistance’ to SATNAM’s intentions? The site should have been removed and excluded from the Local Plan decades ago. We are in this position now because of WBC’s, in its many guises, repeated equivocation. It really is time for WBC to decide whose wishes it chooses to represent. Those of the people of Warrington who it claims to represent when seeking their votes, or those it terms its partners; who have no votes but undoubted pecuniary interests.

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