Officers Acussed of ‘Toothless’ Parkside response

Thursday, June 7th, 2018 3:11pm

By Aran Dhillon - Local Democracy Reporter

Council officers have been accused of expressing an ‘absolutely toothless’ response to the Parkside Colliery development proposals.

Council officers have been accused of expressing an ‘absolutely toothless’ response to the Parkside Colliery development proposals.

Outline plans to regenerate the land at Newton-le-Willows came before the development management committee at the Town Hall on Wednesday.

Warrington Borough Council (WBC) has been consulted as an adjoining authority but it will be down to St Helens Council (SHC) to determine the application.

In total, 27 letters of objections were received by WBC from residents in both areas.

WBC is seeking a ‘comprehensive mitigation package’ to ‘offset any negative impacts’ on the town’s highway network.

But officers recommended the committee to have ‘no objections’ to the principle of the proposed development.

Residents have raised concerns to SHC after Parkside Regeneration’s plans to regenerate the land, which has been vacant since 1993, were unveiled in January.

The blueprints include almost 93,000 square metres of employment space which could bring an estimated 1,300 jobs.

But some residents fear that the increase in traffic could cause major problems for residents living in Winwick.

Cllr Cathy Mitchell (LAB – Burtonwood and Winwick), who was also speaking on behalf of council leader and fellow ward councillor Terry O’Neill, put forward her concerns during Wednesday’s meeting.

She said: “There is a separate proposal for a link road – we would urge that the link road must come before any development on the site.”

“We are objecting to any development without the link road first.”

Cllr Joan Grime (LAB – Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft) called for a tougher stance from WBC.

She said: “I think councillors, if you look at these matters that we have got from our officers, they consist of absolute solid objections.

“There is nothing good for Warrington in this application and the problems for Warrington have hardly been considered by SHC.

“I think the way we have expressed this is absolutely toothless.”

And Cllr David Keane (LAB – Penketh and Cuerdley) urged his colleagues to object.

He said: “I know local councillors would be concerned about the highway impact, particularly in Warrington, and without knowing what this is at the moment I find it very hard not to object to this.

“This is purely about planning policies, it is not about politics or good relations.

“I think that we are duty-bound as a planning committee in Warrington to represent the objections that we have received.

“What kind of council would we be if we did not represent our residents’ objections to SHC.”

Parkside Regeneration is a joint venture between developers Langtree and SHC.

The committee voted to put forward objections to the application.

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