Residents in South Warrington are rising up in angry opposition to the proposals for massive developments in the south of the town.
Warrington Council’s Local Plan Preferred Development Option proposes 24,000 homes be built in the Borough over the next 20 years including 9000 in the Green Belt.
Cllr Ian Marks, Chairman of Warrington Liberal Democrats and Councillor for Lymm North and Thelwall says, “The timing of the consultation on these proposals is dreadful. The eight week period has taken place over the summer when people are away on holiday and Parish Councils don’t meet in August. Our Group Leader on the Council, Cllr Bob Barr, has managed to get a small concession for an extension for comments from Parish Councils but representations from the public are still required by 12 September. Many members of the public are only now finding out about these proposals which will have a huge impact on our communities if they came to pass. We have asked the Council for an extension until the end of the month and are pleased they have agreed to our request to extend the period to 29 September.
We know there is a legal requirement on the Council to prepare a Local Plan and if they don’t have one, then Warrington is exposed to the risk of developers building more or less wherever they want. The previous draft Plan was quashed in the High Court under pressure from developers and their barristers because it didn’t propose enough housing.
There are a number of big questions. We are ambitious for Warrington but why do we have to have so many houses? The justification for them is extremely limited. Why are so many proposed for south of the Ship Canal? Why do we have to sacrifice all this Green Belt? Do we want something called a ‘Garden City Suburb’ in the south?
Our roads cannot cope with the current levels of traffic. The new Mersey Gateway Bridge is about to open and the imposition of tolls will divert more traffic through our town which will make congestion worse. Roads in and around Stockton Heath are frequently gridlocked now.”