2 years ago OLV published an article about potentially Peel Holdings developing a major warehousing facility at J23 Haydock island HERE against some sceptism of our projections, this has now come to fruition.
Peel Investments (North) Ltd has submitted an outline planning application to St Helens Council for a logistics park at M6/A580 junction 23 next to Haydock Park Racecourse.
The development site covers 42 hectares (104 acres) and is situated in the centre of an area of Merseyside Green Belt land separating the towns of Haydock, Ashton in Makerfield, Golbourne and Newton Le Willows.
The proposals are for up to 167,225 sq metres / 1,800,000 sq feet of B8 and B2 warehouses. The largest single building has a floors pace of up to one million sq feet. The height of the buildings will be 25 metres / 82 ft above finished ground level.
It is expected that the site will operate on a 24 hour basis as required by a logistics facility. A new signalled junction will be needed to provide access to the site from the A580 close to junction 23. The site will generate thousands of additional vehicles on local roads every day. One extra HGV on average, will access the site every minute.
How You Can Comment on the Planning Application.
All comments must be submitted to St Helens Council on or before the deadline on the 26th April 2017.
View the planning portal search HERE
You can find the planning application documents simply by searching – Lodge Lane or use the planning reference number – P/2017/0254/OUP
If you have never commented on a planning application before don’t worry, it is very easy to make your views known. You can write a letter, email the planning officer, or use the simple online comment form.
In order that the planning officer knows which planning application you are objecting to you will need to use this reference number on your correspondence – P/2017/0254/OUP
Make sure that you state clearly the reason for your letter and the level of your concern. If you wish to object to the planning application make your views clear to the planning department by writing OBJECTION at the top your letter or email.
Address your letter to;
Mr Alan Kilroe,
Application No. P/2017/0254/OUP,
Or send your email to the planning officer at – alankilroe@ sthelens.gov.uk
Alternatively you can use the online comments form found on the council’s website alongside the planning application documents under the tab titled Comments. You will have to register with the website to do this.
Reasons to Comment
You probably won’t have much time to read through all the hundreds of pages of documentation submitted by various consultants on Peel’s behalf. You could read the document titled PLANNING STATEMENT which summaries all the aspects of the development to save yourself time and to familiarise yourself with the proposals.
When writing your letter the first mistake to avoid is being too personal. Unfortunately the planning officer can only take ‘material planning considerations’ into account.
Examples of Material Considerations you might wish to include in your comments -
Non-compliance with other council planning policies/government planning guidance. Haydock Point represents inappropriate development in Green Belt land and does not comply with the policies set out in the NPPF.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states “the Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence. Green Belt serves five purposes: to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another; to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment; to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.”
The planning application does not demonstrate the ‘very special circumstances’ to warrant development on protected GREEN BELT land. The development will cause significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt which is not outweighed by the benefits of the development.
Planned developments around Haydock Island removing the green belt buffer and effectively merging Ashton in Makerfield, Newton-le-willows and Haydock as one urbanised area
The development will cause Haydock, Newton and Ashton in Makerfield to merge together. St Helens Council is preparing a new Local Plan. The Preferred Options 2018-2033 identifies a parcel of Green Belt land also owned by Peel Holdings south west of junction 23 between Lodge Lane and Vista Road for a potential development of 520 houses. The Peel 150 map calls this development ‘Haydock Garden Suburb’. Haydock Point is not an isolated development. The land at Lodge Lane could be subject to a planning application for a large commercial development. Much of the Green Belt land surrounding junction 23 could be developed if Haydock Point is approved.
Diagram above shows the planned development around Haydock / J23 in the St Helens MBC 2016 / 7 preferred options consultation.
The development will undoubtedly increase urban sprawl. The above map is taken from the Local Plan Preferred Options 2018-2033 (not yet adopted). Haydock Point is clearly located outside of the urban boundary of Haydock Industrial Estate which is well contained and separated from the surrounding Green Belt by the strong and robust boundaries of A580 and M6. The development will cause the industrial estate to ‘spill over’ the motorway boundary into the undeveloped agricultural landscape.
Air Quality Management Area Newton / Haydock M6 where several new very large scale “road to road” Warehouse developments are planned
Adverse impact on air quality.The development is located within an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) which spans the length of the M6 motorway through St Helens borough. Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are declared when the air quality objectives are exceeded, or are likely to be exceeded. When an AQMA is declared the council mustprepare an Air Quality Action Plan to set out the measuresit intends to put in place in pursuit of the objectives. The latest Air Quality Report reveals that progress to reduce and mitigate the effects of air pollutants in the vicinity of the M6 and High Street AQMAs have yet to be implemented.
“The major source of the pollutant NO2 within St Helens is traffic”- St Helens Air Quality Report 2016. The completed development will be based upon storage and distribution via road transportation. The Transport Assessment included in the planning application estimates an additional 4,910 vehicle trips generated as a result of the proposed logistics facility between the hours of 7am and 7pm, including 825 HGVs, approximately one per minute on average. The development will operate 24 hours per day. For comparison a similar development one and a half miles away at Florida Farm development suggests a trip rate of 6,700 vehicles each day. St Helens Air Quality Action Plan March 2013 shows that traffic emissions are the cause of the air pollution exceeding safe limits on the M6 and A49 High Street AQMAs, with one of the biggest contributiors HGVs and slow traffic flows / congestion by overloading road capacity.
The government is getting very concerned over the health implications of traffic generated air quality, press release April 2017. Public Health England have estimated 5% of all deaths in St Helens borough relate to poor air quality. (Reported Florida Farm Planning Application hearing St Helens Council). In the last 12 months much new evidence is emerging over the danger to health. This is a great worry for a lot of local residents potentially to be put at increased risk.
Traffic congestion queues and delays. As explained, the planning application is for 1.8 million sq. feet of warehousing space. This is a road based logistics park located at junction 23 of the M6 and A580. The facility will generate a very large volume of HGV and other traffic on a 24 hour basis. Residents and commuters familiar with the area will be aware of the lengthy queues from all directions, M6, A580 and A49 particularly at the morning and evening peak times. Queues and delays worsen significantly when there are events held at Haydock Park racecourse, and traffic incidents.
Road safety and Traffic Accidents. Haydock Island is subject to frequent road traffic accidents. Arguably this is not due solely to the large volume of traffic accessing the junction but also due to the signalling system and changes to the layout.
Cumulative impact of development. Other warehouse developments have received planning permission subject to conditions in Haydock include a logistics facility at Penny Lane and Florida Farm North. These developments together with Haydock Point represent 3,800,000 sq feet of warehousing floor space within current Green Belt land. Collectively these developments will generate tens of thousands of additional vehicles within the vicinity of junction 23 and the surrounding local road network each day. Future housing developments should also be included in the cumulative impact assessments. 502 houses at Florida Farm South and 870 houses at Lodge Lane/Ashton Road and Vista Road are identified in the Local Plan Preferred Options and are located within the immediate vicinity of the development. Potentially there is a further 200 acres of B8 warehousing at nearby Parkside also which will utilise the same road infrastructure.
Local Wildlife sites in the area of the proposed development
Harm to Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and wildlife habitat. There are a number of important wildlife habitats adjacent to the development, notably woodlands and watercourses which would be harmed by the development. During construction there is potential for contamination from dust, noise, pollution spillage and disturbance. During operation sensitive species will be harmed by night time illumination, noise, air pollution, disturbance and litter.
Light pollution, operational and traffic noise effecting residential properties throughout the night time.
Impact on the character of the area. Haydock Park Racecourse plays a significant role in promoting the positive aspects of St Helens nationally and internationally. The first impression visitors to the racecourse will have of St Helens will be the large logistics development and potentially the long traffic queues. The buildings will cause a severe adverse impact on the parkland landscape. The open character of the area and the setting of the racecourse will be spoiled by warehouses enclosing the course. The Landscape Character Assessment for St Helens 2006 – Haydock Park recommends that “Landscape management should seek to conserve the open large scale character of the landscape and mature woodland blocks. Opportunities to sympathetically create setting to Haydock Park and various developments within landscape.”
An artist’s impression showing one of the three warehouses in the foreground at Haydock Island