Local residents from across Eccleston and Windle, have joined forces to oppose plans to build up to 1000 new homes on Green Belt land.
Under St Helens Council's Local Plan, developers could build around 1000 homes on land adjacent to the East Lancs Road (HA16 - see map attached), close to the junction with the A580 and Rainford Road/Bleak Hill Road.
A new body - 'Eccleston Community Residents Association' (ECRA) - working alongside residents from neighbouring Windle, says the junction is one of the most dangerous in the Borough, and the building of another 1000 new homes will mean a further massive increase in traffic congestion, and this will further impact negatively on road safety.
Residents opposed to the plans have also stated that 1000 extra homes will place an even great strain on local infrastructure, such as schools, doctors and other key services, which is already at breaking point.
Mike Greenacre, Chair of ECRA said:
"It truly beggars belief that St Helens Council thinks that this is an appropriate site for housing development, on such a vast scale.
"This is one of the most dangerous road junctions in St Helens; and to consider such proposals is, in our view deeply irresponsible, especially given that the Council has not come forward with a plan, despite numerous requests, to deal with the substantial increase in traffic or improve road safety at this very busy junction and across the local area.
"Major road safety issues would have to be considered and integrated into any new plan in order to make the junction safe. If the Council cannot provide these assurances, as a local community, we can't see how this site can be included within the plans for new house building on the scale proposed".
ECRA has been formed in response to St Helens Council's Local Plan, which has proposed the building up to 2,500 new homes across Eccleston and Eccleston Park, which equates to a massive fifty one percent increase in local population.
The site is one of six being brought forward across Eccleston and Eccleston Park to be released from the Green Belt for development.
Local resident, Michelle Dennett said:
"As a local community, we are not anti-development per se, however, our local area has provided its fair share of housing in recent years, with the most recent example being the 262-new home development on the former Triplex site, which has put local infrastructure under great strain.
"An extra 2,500 new homes is an astronomical amount for a semi-rural community to absorb and will simply overburden our local infrastructure, including schools, doctors, dentists and other key services.
"Given that the most recent census showed most households in the local area have two cars, it could mean more than 3,000 extra vehicles alone, from the site next to the East Lancs, with a total figure of around 5,000 extra cars in our local area, if all the homes are built. Any development that takes place must be sustainable, the Local Plan is not, and needs to go back to the drawing board".
ECRA will be holding two information meetings, to update local residents on the Local Plan. These will be held on:
- Monday, 22 May at St Julies Church Hall, Howards Lane, Eccleston; and
- Tuesday 13 June at Bleak Hill Primary School, Hamilton Road, Windle.
Doors open at 6pm.