Warrington Lib Dem News

Residents oppose massive distribution centre

10 May 2023
LD Demand Better

Residents turned up in force at the Public Inquiry to show their opposition to a massive distribution centre on Green Belt land next to Junction 20 of the M6.

Warrington Borough Council approved the planning application but due to its size and strategic importance, it was 'called-in' to be determined by the Secretary of State. An Inquiry scheduled for eight days began in Warrington on 9th May. The Inspector will make a recommendation having heard evidence for and against. The application for 288,000m2 of internal floorspace is known as Six/56. Opposition comes from residents, councillors and the planning consultant and barrister commissioned by the South Warrington Parish Councils' Planning Working Group.

Lymm Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Marks spoke at the Inquiry:


We strongly agree with the Local Plan Inspectors that this land should not be released from the Green Belt. In no uncertain terms, they make it quite clear that it would result in a significant encroachment into the countryside undermining one of the purposes of the Green Belt, create severe harm to its openness and cause major visual intrusion. Any economic benefits do not provide very exceptional circumstances to override this loss.

There is no strategic need for this extra allocation because Fiddlers Ferry has the potential to accommodate largescale logistics development for the reduced amount of employment land the Local Plan Inspectors say is required. It also has the potential for a rail connection which this site does not. The Secretary of State has previously rejected a proposal to build a national distribution centre on land nearby.

Residents have many concerns. The number of extra vehicular movements generated will have a significant impact on air quality. There are now 60,000 studies addressing the impact of air pollution on health and the World Health Organisation has described air pollution as a global health emergency.

Secondly there will be more congestion due to the lack of infrastructure. This has major implications for residents who will find increased difficulty gaining access to the motorway network. We already have a large truck-stop next to the motorway roundabout and a truck wash which is or aspires to be Europe's biggest.

We sincerely hope that you will turn down this application in the interests of the public good. It is important to listen to what ordinary people are saying. Warrington is a highly successful town, and it doesn't need this development, especially one which is in direct conflict with the Council's climate change aspirations.

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