Warrington Lib Dem News

Six/56 saga drags on

IM
8 Jan 2024
Ian with the Local Plan

The Public Inquiry into the proposal to build a massive logistics site on Green Belt land next to Junction 20 on the M6 has been adjourned yet again. This is due to a late challenge to the High Court to have the Council’s recently approved Local Plan quashed. The claim relates to land at Fiddlers Ferry.

I was frustrated to find our when I attended the adjourned Public Inquiry that there had been yet another twist to this saga. At the same time I was not that surprised, because I know how keen Langtree is develop this site for logistics. I wondered if a rabbit would be pulled out of the hat at the last minute and it was.

I voted against adopting the Local Plan when it came before Council on 4 December. I totally accept we need a Local Plan to stop a developers’ free-for-all, but I believe a more acceptable plan could have been prepared for approval. But I was delighted when the Local Plan Inspectors re-affirmed their determination that the site proposed for Six/56 should not be removed from the Green Belt and the Council, albeit reluctantly, agreed.

We have been fighting against this development for years and hoped that Langtree would back down. We realised this was not going to happen because all arrangements for the second adjournment to the Inquiry were in place when we turned up. The bombshell came at the start of proceedings when Langtree’s barrister announced there was to be a challenge in the High Court to quash the Plan approved by the Council.

We now know that Brooklyn Ltd is the named party behind the challenge but strategic land developer Satnam is also involved. The third adjournment will probably take place in June. This brings uncertainty into the whole planning process and is most disappointing - these twists and turns will be difficult for many people to understand.

Ian Marks is a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Lymm and a member of the South Warrington Parish Councils Planning Group.