Permission has been granted to build a temporary road on green belt land to help remodel Mersey Valley Golf Club.
On Wednesday, councillors were asked to consider plans to create a temporary access road from Warrington Road into the golf club.
The proposed access is to be used in connection with the importation of material to allow for the re-profiling of the golf course as approved under a separate approved planning application.
The previous permission allows the importation of 210,000 tonnes of inert waste per year into the golf course for a temporary period of three years using an existing temporary access to the east of Bargyloo Farm, on Warrington Road.
The new application site, is located within the green belt, relates to an area of land along the northern side of the A57 Warrington Road in Bold Heath.
The access road would accommodate up to 42 HGVs per day between 7am and 5pm on weekdays only.
The applicant, Richard Cass, argues the new access road will allow for a better arrangement than the previous one.
He said it will reduce vehicle speeds on this stretch of the highway and make traffic coming in and out of the site more manageable.
While part of the green belt, planning applications such as this can be deemed acceptable as they are considered an ‘engineering operation’.
St Helens Council’s planning committee debated the application on Tuesday.
Melanie Hale said, the council’s service manager for development, said while there are “clear short-term impacts” of the development, planning officers do not consider the plans “inappropriate”.
The council received a total of 11 representations objecting to the site, with the majority relating to highways matters.
Janet Baker, who lives near the current access road, described the current situation along this stretch of road as a “nightmare”.
She also claimed drivers regularly flaunt the reduced 30phm speed limit along the current access road.
The situation was echoed by Cllr Richard McCauley, cabinet member for economic regeneration and housing, who described traffic along the road as “horrendous”.
“I know this site extremely well,” Cllr McCauley said. “I pass it every day. The objectors are right about the traffic on that road, it’s absolutely horrendous.”
Despite his concerns, the Labour councillor could not see any material planning matter to refuse the application.
Cllr McCauley said: “When I’ve looked at it, I can’t find that much I can disagree with, even though I may not like it.”
Ms Hale said traffic is not expected to increase in the area as it will just move from one access road to the new one.
In conclusion, Ms Hale said: “We find that on balance, we find the development to be acceptable within the context of the adopted development plan for St Helens and we’re recommending that planning permission be granted.”
Planning permission was granted following a vote, subject to several conditions.