St Helens Council Local Plan 2018 – Past Public Consultation

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Our Local Voice – all the information you are about to read is from freely available public information mostly council reports and minutes this has been put together by volunteers giving up their free time from your local community across local towns the volunteers / researchers you need to thank are from Burtonwood, Newton, Haydock, Lowton and Winwick.

OLV Statement – We  fully understand there has to be progress and development for employment. We understand the need for new housing; we understand also government is putting severe pressure on local authorities to build housing.   However broadly we believe the borough as a whole should bear the burden of both commercial and housing development.   It is grossly unfair Newton-le-Willows and Haydock are taking more than their share of the housing allocation but as well as this taking almost the ENTIRE allocation of green belt loss for commercial development.   This means a total of 41% of the boroughs entire green belt loss is coming from these two towns.   By any stretch of the imagination this is recklessly excessive, particularly when you consider the boroughs most dangerous area for air pollution is located here due to the existing traffic pressure.  9% green belt loss for the entire borough becomes impossibly high figures for green belt loss in these two targeted towns the residents will in future live in an environment not dissimilar to city centre levels of urbanisation.   Air pollution levels will rise to levels no one can predict, the council are recklessly gambling with people’s health, something they have a legal duty to protect.   In all 97,000 residents across three boroughs will be directly affected by St Helens MBC proposals and many more outside the localised zones of Ashton, Haydock, Newton, Lowton, Winwick and Burtonwood. But as we will see later in this article, in terms of jobs and the economy not only might be for no gain it might actually have a negative impact.

This may seem an odd place to start St Helens MBC public consultation on its vision for the borough and here are we starting in Warrington Borough?   What you see is Winwick Island not taken when there is an accident but a sight many of you will know from personal experience.   Nearby towns such as Newton and Burtonwood residents will know full well the 3 miles to Winwick regularly takes up to an hour at peak times.   The roads are narrow and built for another era they never meant to carry this volume of traffic and even without the proposed developments we are about to outline are close to breaking point.

It’s within the context of this we introduce the St Helens Plan now issued to the public for comment.

A council plan is rarely popular but, due to a unique combination of political circumstances, there are serious implications for people living in the area.

The combination of the councils funding gap and need to business rates, central governments demand for councils to build houses has resulted in the perfect storm with the eye of the storm in Newton and Haydock but given their location in very close proximity to Wigan and Warrington boroughs on the periphery of St Helens these areas will be affected to some significant degree also.

Remember you don’t have to live in the St Helens Borough to be affected or to comment on these plans.   Early on in this article we show four ways you can submit your consultation some of them very simple indeed taking no more than ten minutes and you don’t need a computer.  This is a large article because there is a lot to understand and undoubtably a large impact.  If you are one of the 97,000 people who are directly affected in Newton, Golbourne, Burtonwood, Ashton in Makerfield, Haydock, Golbourne please take the time to read this in full.

But before we immerse ourselves in all that, this is how you respond to the public consultation in plain simple language

For our reasons to have your say click HERE

SHOW ME HOW I CAN RESPOND TO ST HELENS COUNCIL PLAN?

The really good news is responding to the local plan is very easy it can range from 5 minutes to 5 days depending and what you have to say.

What is important though is that you DO respond whether you agree with the “Preferred Options” or you don’t?  The council are obliged by statute to consult with the public and take account of their comments when developing the local plan. The council have to get the plan agreed by central government and a government inspector will be appointed to review and approve whatever plans the council submits in 2017. The inspector will read your comments you have a voice, this is your life your town please make sure your voice is heard.

The formal comments form is technical and complex and requires in “in depth” knowledge of the documentation which run to several hundred pages. To be fair to the council much of the format is prescribed by the government but responding to criticism in the scoping phase the council have offered advice on how to consult by ordinary members of the public who may be daunted by the process.

You have four options, as below, but if you dont use the official form make sure you clearly state it’s for the Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation.

Option one – You complete the full or in part preferred options comments form (see link below) and either post or email to the council.

Option Two – as above but you only use the “any other comments” box at the end of the form writing your comments in your own words.

Option three – You email the council in your own words not using the form.

Option four – You write a letter to the council in your own words not using the form.

Option five – use the quick online response form developed by Parkside Action Group, see below

Parkside Action Group have devised a simple online response method.   You simply click on the link complete your contact details, submit your comments in your own words then submit.   The system then emails you back the completed form in PDF format in the councils preferred format then all you have to do is email the PDF to planningpolicy@sthelens.gov.uk as below.

 

The council address and email for the consultations are below.

Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation, St Helens Council, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP

planningpolicy@sthelens.gov.uk

The online local Plan in the full council portal is here

This link also contains the comments form link

Your best option is to click on the comments form save to your hard drive put your address on and put your comments in the any other box and email the council.  But the other options are acceptable if you prefer.

The consultation starts 5th December and ends 12 noon on the 30th January 2017

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Some facts about the proposed loss of green belt in the local plan.

St Helens Borough has overall 8,844 hectares of green belt, 65% of the physical area of the borough

1,187 hectares (13.4%) of all the green belt is proposed to be released in this single plan.

However Newton and Haydock take 487 hectares (1217 acres) 41% of the green belt allocation for the entire borough

263 hectares (660 acres) of this is for warehouse parks

90% of the industrial development for the whole borough is expected to be absorbed in Newton and Haydock.

This is thought to be entirely for warehousing for no less than NINE new warehouse parks all around Newton and Haydock, with the exception of one at Omega. The motorways and local roads are expected to accommodation what will be substantively increased volume.

The new Warehouse Parks are

1 -Florida Farm North Haydock

2 – Land North of Penny Lane Haydock

3 – Land South of Haydock Racecourse

4 – Land South of Penny Lane Haydock

5 -Land to the west of Haydock Industrial Estate Haydock

6- Land west of millfield lane Haydock,

7 -Parkside East NLW

8 – Parkside West NLW

9 -Omega South West Extension.

The largest are Parkside West (80ha – 200 acres), Parkside East (65ha – 163 acres), Florida Farm (35ha – 88 acres) and Haydock Point (42ha – 105 acres)

If the local plan is approved Haydock will have just 28% green belt

Newton will have just 44% – Newton + Haydock just 34%.

Parkside will be 25% the urban area of Newton and Earlestown combined.

Parkside size

The proposed size of Parkside Warehousing 25% the total urbanised area of Newton and Earlestown combined just 2 miles away are two further warehouse parks Haydock Point and Florida Farm of magnitude these are of similar scale to Parkside, although Parkside is the largest.

What’s going on here?

Have your say on the new local plan for St Helens 2018-2033.   But how? And what is the local plan and how does it affect me?

The answer is it affects you very much it will affect your green space, your leisure time option, your home, your quality of life, your health and that of your family, your access to local services and your ability to find work locally and your ability to commute.

This is because the rather innocuous name “local plan” is actually a powerful far reaching roadmap (with legal powers) for the whole design and future direction of the borough. It covers the roads, the level of housing and commercial development and what it will be like as a place to live.

St Helens MBC had in recent years though already developed a local plan, (at great expense over a number of years) this was signed off by the government and stakeholders (including the public) in late 2012. However in November 2015 the council councillor’s cabinet meeting decided the 2012 was not adequate (despite it being constructed by many of the same councillors and planners) just 37 months previous.    The 2012 had little of the boroughs green belt to be removed but the new plan had substantive areas of green belt to be removed.   The reasons for the dramatic change in strategy were rather vague but ostensibly around need for more housing and that the marketplace for commercial development had changed in the 3 year window.    But almost no justification for that market assertion, it was an opinion and as we will see a convenient one.

The timeline for the development of the new plan was to be 2016 to 2018 (subsequently moved forward to 2017, a shorter window than the 2012 plan.  The first phase of the plan was in early 2016 called the scoping phase in this phase the principles of the strategy were to be put before the public. These principles were primarily substantive areas of the boroughs green belt to be lost to development for housing and logistics sites. But this phase did not deal with the “where” only the “what”. There were public objections to these principles in the consultation stage which ended in March.   The phase coming up now is called the “preferred options” stage this is where the council actually states what areas of land it wants to remove from green belt.

In our article earlier this year “all roads lead to Newton and Haydock” here we predicted Newton and Haydock would bear the burden of green belt loss for the whole borough and that has largely proved to be the case. However there are some further surprises which you will see further in this article.

Justification

These are St Helens Council minutes from 2013.   These plans have been known for a long time by the planners and cabinet. The likely negative reaction has clearly been known and surreptitiously planned for in terms of how the information was revealed to the public.  We recognise councils (in today’s environment) have to make difficult and unpopular decisions.   But the government’s localism and planning laws (NPPF) require strong and transparent public consultation.

There has been some controversy over this consulation and a number of residents and some councillors around the borough have objected in that the detail about these land allocation plans has been withheld until late in the cycle and the consultation has been held over the festive holidays when much of the public have their minds on other things and many of the statutory stakeholders are on short working or leave periods over the festive period.   Although strictly within the law there are clear questions as to whether this is within the spirit of localism and NPPF.

Cabinet Minutes

Councillor Cabinet Meeting Wednesday 16th November where the consultation period was approved. This proved highly controversial.

For the full minutes of that meeting, see here

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The village of Burtonwood actually not quite so much a village now did you know the numeric population of Burtonwood is now half the size of Newton-le-Willows?   It’s also the same place physically and demographically as Newton-le-Willows, simply because there is an artificial local authority boundary line it does not mean they are different areas or that the traffic is separated.

Burtonwood is in crisis with traffic management, effectively the residents at peak times are trapped.

Like Newton getting to Winwick can take up to an hour, Alder Lane, Clay Lane and Tanhouse Lane are often at a standstill. Alder Lane in the past few weeks on two occasions has been a traffic jam from Burtonwood Village to Winwick Church and regularly is standing traffic back from Winwick as far as the Fiddle I’th Bag Inn.  Just beyond the Fiddle is tiny Alder Root Lane which will soon carry additional traffic for housing but even now is regularly “backed to” Vulcan Village as commuters try to get out on slow moving traffic on Alder Lane.   The other side of Burtonwood commuters trying to access the M62 compete with HGV’s from Omega.   The local authority recently consulted on improving Junction 8 of the M62 but this was not to ease the congestion but to develop further logistics sites and housing.   The point here is that these developments are all part of the whole, because this is in the Warrington borough it does not mean it will not affect those in the St Helens Borough in nearby Newton and Haydock and vise versa.

We are often told by the politicians these developments are subject to rigorous traffic surveys to ensure they are viable before being commissioned. However a conversation with one of the consultants at the recent Peel Holdings presentations on Haydock Point revealed something of how it really works.   When a developer puts forward a proposal let’s say Haydock Point their traffic assessment must cover not just the impact of their proposal but the aggregate position basing on other known similar proposals in the area.   So for example Peel will need to factor in Florida Farm, Penny Lane, Haydock Industrial Estate, and Parkside into their assessment.   Langtree and Bericote will do the same.   This is input to the local authority who also consults with neighbouring authorities and Highways England. This is done while proposals are at different timelines.   Remember also developers here are providing the core data reviewed by the local authority; they have a clear incentive to be optimistic in their assumptions.

Short staffed and overworked planners in the receiving authority have to make sense of what is in effect optimistic guesstimate on guesstimate on a moving target and with the planners undoubtedly under political pressure. In essence its “hope for the best” and this has been the strategy to date.   However we are reaching the point of no return the area is in danger of totally grinding to a standstill with severe social and economic implications.

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Operational Logistics Sites on Omega together with new logistics operations being built. Councillor Fulham (cabinet member for growth St Helens MBC) recently stated St Helens needs to release green belt for developments (by which he means primarily logistics) otherwise St Helens will fall behind nearby towns.   And here before you is the nub of the matter.   Falling behind in this context means falling behind in the race for local authorities to grab business rates from a finite number of logistics developers.   It’s the easy option some would say the lazy option.   Surely our local authorities should be working in synergy to create maximum growth for the region giving the greatest number and diversity of employment opportunities and dare we say it still retain a sound environment for health and well being.    Not competing, against one another, in the race to build warehouses.

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Omega South vast area, literarily hundreds of acres of Brownfield land safeguarded for development.   In the race for business rates and tempting the finite number of logistics developers cash St Helens MBC will offer green belt to compete with Warrington MBC and stop development on this Brownfield site to put it on green belt just two to three miles away.    Dysfunctional might be the word, insane might be better. To be fair this is driven by government local authority funding but that does not make it a sound strategy. It’s wrong and it will have severe consequences for both the local economy and environment.

Lane Head

Lane Head Lowton taken on a Sunday morning. But in the week this is very much different.   This is in the top five of busiest road junctions in the greater Manchester borough. Think about that in the whole of the vast greater Manchester conurbation which has some extremely congested areas only four are more congested than this junction where we all live nearby. Upwards of 60,000 vehicles a day pass this junction a week from the A580.

Winwick Lane which flows from here to emerge via junction 22 at Winwick has recently been de-primed putting a weight restriction on vehicles, due to safety and environmental issues with HGV’s.

Today most mornings Winwick Lane is standing traffic from Lane Head to Junction 22.   Like many places in this area it’s grinding to a halt with a road network struggling to cope with the existing demand. Parkside, Haydock Point and to an extent Florida Farm will severally impact Lowton traffic. The council preferred options raise the prospect of road improvements on the A49 with Warrington BC but we are not aware of similar discussions with Wigan Metro on what is a serious congestion point in that borough.

 

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Extract from St Helens MBC preferred options document. For the residents of Newton and Haydock a “choke on the cornflakes moment”.   However it’s important to note the context of this. It is not a desired objective for green space health and well being. That is actually a constraint; the council cannot put together a plan that ignores green space it has to strike a balanced plan.  The planning objective is sustainable development however what that means is open to interpretation and case law. In essence though sustainability is providing for the best for people and the environment both now and in the indefinite future.

St Helens council has for the last few years been focussing on an area action plan (AAP) namely Bold Forest Park.   This is unlikely to be because the planners and councillors are committed environmentalists or wildlife enthusiasts.  It is because it ticks the sustainability planning module and thus is an enabler for urbanisation and commercial development elsewhere.   Remember the council needs to construct an environmentally sustainable plan for the borough as a complete entity, not the whole borough. Some areas of the borough are to enjoy sustainable development more than others. Bold Forest Park is in the wards of, Bold, Parr, Thatto Heath and Sutton. The completion of this project is now a planning enabler for extensive development in other areas where the population are deemed more malleable for political or other reasons.

The other point to note is Bold Forest Park is not Brownfield returned to create more green belt, it is almost entirely green belt already but promoted in planning allocation as a community green space for well being and biodiversity.    The same can be applied for Sankey Valley which has been green belt for centuries you will see council promotion and planning materials as these being the heart of the boroughs commitment to green space.

For OLV’s article on Bold Forest park, see here

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Cory Developments weighbridge and offices are to be returned to green belt as part of the Lyme and Wood Pit Country Park.   This is a process known as swopping where Brownfield is returned to green belt creating areas more suitable for development but retaining the balance of green belt in the area.   Doing the numbers here for Newton and Haydock say 2 acre of developed land at Cory to be returned to Green Belt, (487ha) around 1200 acres removed from Green Belt to developed land.  41% of the borough’s entire green belt loss delivered from Newton and Haydock.  Lyme and Wood pit like Bold Forest Park and Sankey Valley has been Green belt and recreational space with biodiversity for generations, there is no new green space only areas withheld from development to serve as a planning enabler for large scale development and urbanisation elsewhere.

ST HELENS MBC LOGISTICS PLANS IN PREFEERED OPTIONS IN NEWTON AND HAYDOCK

Newton – Le -Willows – Haydock Point – 106 acre Logistics  site - Green Belt

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Haydock Point Green Belt – This is what 105 acres looks like it includes the woods on the far horizon and will almost touch Haydock Park Racecourse.   Remember the other site of Haydock Island is Florida Farm a similar size at 105 acres. Along with Penny Lane and other new logistics site. Haydock Island and Junction M6 23 will face severe traffic pressure as will Winwick Island and Junction M6 22.

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This is the access point for Haydock Point not as we thought direct slip to M6 but access onto the A580. A new set of multi access traffic control will be installed similar to stone cross.   HGV traffic will then compete with other traffic on Haydock Island to enter the M6.   This new traffic control will be at a point between the Rob Lane crossing of the A580 and Haydock Island.

Haydock Point

Lets start with Haydock Point as you can see adjacent to Haydock Island and abutting the racecourse this is a huge complex and clearly on its own will add significant pressure onto the local road network and the M6 / A580. But its not on its own there are at least 5 other warehouse developments proposed by St Helens Council condensed into a small area around Newton and Haydock. There is to be a public consultation by the developer on the 7th Dec just two days after the start of the council consultation on removing green belt of which this is part.

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Peel Holdings consultation 7th December. This is what is called the “Pre Application” phase where developers aim to demonstrate public engagement prior to the application proper. The Land is Green Belt and can’t be removed from green belt unless exceptional circumstances are generated based on need, they must prove it’s unique and can’t be developed elsewhere. They will be working with the local authority and the local plan is the enabler. If you have concerns then this is another reason to make your views known St Helens MBC is seeking your opinion. If you express no opinion they will assume you agree.

 

Andy Burnham

Concerned, MP Andy Burnham member of parliment for nearby Leigh, along with Yvonne Fovargue MP for Makerfield.   “Nearby towns Golbourne, Ashton and in particular Lowton and Lane Head and the A580 suffer severe congestion on a daily basis with the road nework struggling to cope”

Mr Burnham has recently written to residents in the area with his thoughts on the announcement of proposed major warehouse park on the land surrounding Haydock Park Racecourse and adjacent to junction 23 (Haydock Island).

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Yvonne Fovarue

“The reality for residents is gridlock on our already overburdened roads, increasing air and noise pollution and the destruction of greenbelt”

Yvonne Fovargue MP for Makerfield

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The notorious Thelwall Viaduct and Junction 21A on M6. But this is not just about inconvenience and driver frustration. The M6 and our connecting roads are vital arteries for economic growth and jobs. Congestion is a barrier to economic growth when it breeches thresholds a certain level of congestion is a positive sign it demonstrates activity. But beyond a given threshold it’s a job destroyer. This impact will be felt not just in the St Helens Borough but in neighbouring boroughs also transport links and the ability to freely move in the region is critical. Businesses need to move sales teams around, recruit staff, receive goods from suppliers, invite customers, deliver products all these are huge barriers in an area where free movement of transport is restricted. The scale of the warehousing and housing development planned by St Helens MBC in the preferred options could completely gridlock the area leaving warehousing as the only employment opportunity in the locality and the wider area. It will also severely restrict supply chains and commuters in the region with an economic cost in lost time and resource together with a generalised disincentive for businesses to locate in this area. A marginal increase in localised warehouse employment could pay a very high economic price the issues are not just centred on environmental issues or local health / well being.

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This is Lowton St Marys (Newton Road) just over the East Lancashire Road A580.   In a view years this image will be no more it’s the trajectory for HS2 which will bisect Lowton in two.   Of course HS2 is not the fault of St Helens Council nor is it the fault of Wigan Metro it’s a central government ruling.   But we can’t escape the fact locally it will destroy thousands of acres of green belt from Rixton to Bamfurlong there will be many years of construction and local road closures and diversions. If St Helens council get their way this area by then will be completely gridlocked. What will be the capacity to absorb this construction and multiple road diversion to construct HS2 moving millions of tonnes of earth and constructing tunnels, new roads and underpasses for miles?   Any traffic modelling by St Helens planners must model what will be a substantive change for the local area to absorb this is a vast undertaking.   We would also like to point out Andy Burnham, other local MP’s and Local Councillors working alongside the community have done much to mitigate the damage by HS2 at one time Pennington Flash, Lightshaw SSSI and Byrom Hall and Woods were under threat. No less an issue faces Newton-le-Willows, Haydock and Winwick today.

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HS2 the governments 250 mph high speed rail line will bisect Lowton at some point between now and 2033 local roads will have to cope with the construction traffic and road changes to accomodate its infrastruture and build a vast undertaking.

Andy

By Haydock point a mile to the west of Haydock Island is Florida Farm. This 90 acre site has proved very controversial with a large group of local residents opposed. This recently appeared on BBC North West tonight the leader of the green party Caroline Lucas has visited the site as has the environmentalist David Bellamy. One of the great frustrations of local people is that just a few hundred yards from this beautiful (and scarce in the area green belt) are a number of warehouse sites to let. These apparently are not attractive to the developer. Nonetheless this is potentially a very large site equal in size to Haydock Point and adjacent to J23 of the M6 the area will be expected to cope with considerable volume of traffic on the M6 and A580.

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Residents protest against the Florida Farm Development on green belt alongside leader of the Green Party

Residents Florida

Concerned – Haydock residents protest outside St Helens town hall in relation to plans for the 90 acre Florida Farm Warehouse development on green belt.

Haydock – Land South and North of Penny Lane  – 33 Acres of Logistics – Green Belt

Penny Lane

Penny Lane Logistics by A580 – Image from St Helens MBC own public magazine St Helens First

Haydock – Land to the west of Haydock Industrial Estate – 20 Acres of Logistics -  Green Belt

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Conor Mcginn

The member of parliment for St Helens North – Conor Mcginn

Newton – Le -Willows Parkside West – 200 acres of logistics - Green Belt

Newton – Le -Willows Parkside West – 162 acres of logistics - Green Belt

And last but not least we come to Parkside also a key element within St Helens MBC preferred options.   Parkside is a mile maybe two from the Haydock warehouse parks and like them is intended to use the A580, M6 and local roads (particularly the A49).   If we aggregate these sites it is a staggering 612 acres of warehousing in residential areas in one of the most congested road networks in the North of England along with substantive areas of green belt for housing (which we will see later in this article).   Because of these two factors Newton-Le-Willows and Haydock will, under these council proposals, lose almost its entire green space.   What little green space remains will have to be shared amongst the greater population which will be surrounded in all directions by Warehouse Parks. With just a few amendments local roads will be expected to cope.

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Parkside West – Planned to be 200 acres of road to road warehousing accessed via the A49.

View from top Parkside Rucks-

Parkside West from the high ground looking south west

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Roe Deer Parkside West – Image donated resident Winwick Road

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The meadows on Parkside West still attract unusual species like this magnificent wild barn owl feeding on voles and mice. Once these truly wild places go they are lost forever. We need development but it has to be sustainable and balanced. Otherwise future generations will experience nothing but congestion and urban sprawl. St Helens Council also has a green environmental policy (including biodiversity) it seems that policy is very selective on location in the borough.  But of course we cant restrict development providing employment opportunities because at some point someone would want to see a barn owl.  Get in your car and drive somewhere else than your local area.  And yet it seems a shame just what are we trying to achieve for our area and the next generations ? yes we want opportunities but it has to be in balance and not at any price.    This and other beautful sights of the natural world have been enjoyed here for generations including through the industrial era, but for this area that is about to vanish and it will be forever.

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Within the preferred options it’s now clear what the master plan is for Parkside. Unlike all the previous plans which were for dedicated access direct from the M6 it now appears this is not to be the case. Whether this is lack of government grant or the demand does not justify we don’t know but the plans are this tiny narrow road to Winwick is to be the main access point. Those who travel Winwick Road (Particularly in mornings / evenings) will know how congested it is. The latest proposals are to have thousands of HGV’s churning through Winwick Village and potentially Newton High Street and local towns such as Lowton. The council’s documents state when the A49 reaches capacity a dedicated access will be built from the M6 and HGV’s will not access via the A49. However who arbitrates what maximum capacity is and when it occurs this is not explained. Nor do we expect it to be. It’s clear with the major developments of junction 22 currently taking place with no Parkside access direct from the M6 it’s safe to assume that will not be occurring for many years to come. It is our expectations the direct access will only come once Parkside East is developed. Parkside East is reserved for a Strategic Rail Freight Terminal (SRFI) however this is likely to be over the longer term or it may never occur. The SRFI is likely being used as exceptional circumstances to be able to remove all the land (East and West) from green belt status. The SRFI may or may not occur until such time (or a major expansion or government funding) then we can assume for the medium to long term (potentially decades) HGV’s accessing Parkside will be expected to be absorbed onto local roads.

Web Article Dec 2016 (12 of 19)

Were a dedicated M6 access to Parkside ever be built this is where it is likely to be at the far edge of this field across farmland at the edge of Winwick Village. But our expectations are this is longer term if ever. However there are complications for St Helens this land is green belt in the Warrington Borough. National infrastructure may override this should an SRFI come forward but in any event as we are today there are too many variables we have to assume access is via local roads for some time to come if not a permanent arrangement.

Parkside East the area reserved for a Strategic Rail Freight Terminal.  Because the high ground following studies is deemed to complex or expensive to develop upon the master plan assumes further land is required to the east which will bring the area of land almost to Highfield Moss SSSI.

Parkside East the area reserved for a Strategic Rail Freight Terminal. Because the high ground following studies is deemed to complex or expensive to develop upon the master plan assumes further land is required to the east which will bring the area of land almost to Highfield Moss SSSI.

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Parkside East again the green belt to be used will be to the left and right of the road. Should the SRFI come forward in all probability Parkside Road will be closed on a permanent basis.

Parkside east and west

This diagram from the councils preferred options document shows the scale of the Parkside warehouse development East and West imn area it is almost as big as Newton and Earlestown combined.

Parkside Entrance

The Langtree master plan has decreed entrance to Parkside should be the old colliery entrance on Winwick Road which is in a residential area.   The council reports say the A49 needs to be developed to allow the increased heavy goods traffic. We expect this to be road widening and possibly something at Winwick in consultation with Warrington Council.

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Young volunteers for Lancashire Wildlife Trust hard at work in 2015 on creating the ditch in the middle of the moss with the aim of retaining water in the centre of the moss. A senior representative of LWT explains plans to local residents plans to re-wet the moss to protect the very rare moss land mire. This valley mire carries a wide range of plant species, including cross leaved heath louse wort, round leaved sundew and marsh gentian. The site is a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and protected by natural England and managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Obviously the hydrology is critical it’s not clear how this will be accommodated given the new plans for Parkside extend further east to within touching distance of the SSSI.

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Council leader Barrie Grunewald and Langtree Chief Executive John Downes. The council provided £6 million of public funds to Langtree to purchase the green belt site.

For the arrangements see here

Helen Jones

Comments raised by MP for Winwick and Croft Helen Jones however this was before the recent news Parkside HGV,s are to be routed through Winwick Village

“The council is being urged to represent the the town’s interests ‘robustly’ to ensure Winwick and Croft residents do not face traffic chaos – if a logistic hub is developed in Newton-le-Willows.  I have already raised my concerns with the MP for St Helens North about the potential traffic problems which any development could create for Winwick and Croft.  The concerns of residents must be listened to and dealt with before a planning application is submitted and I would expect Warrington Borough Council (WBC) to represent their interests robustly in discussions with St Helens Council.”

And Warrington South MP David Mowatt has also shared his concerns.

He said: “I would be worried about the effect a new logistics hub could have on Warrington.  But that’s not a reason for St Helens not to build one – they are as entitled to try to attract new businesses and jobs to their area as everyone else and it’s a reason for WBC to invest in major improvements to our road infrastructure to keep the town moving.”

Car Exhaust

We can’t responsibly develop this article without mentioning traffic borne air quality.   As you will know Newton-Le-Willows high street and southworth road is an air quality management area (AQMA).   This is managed by St Helens Council by law according to the environment act 1995.   The same council consulting with you on the preferred options consultation.   This is not scaremongering this is an established fact and never out of the news currently.   Traffic air quality is killer it affects first the young and old and the vulnerable.   It’s responsible for serious diseases cancer, heart and respiratory and is often fatal.

Content from a report presented to St Helens Council January 2016 extracted from the St helens Star.

“Air pollution in St Helens is responsible for almost 100 deaths per year . A health protection update presented to St Helens’ health and wellbeing board on Thursday, January 21 listed pollution as one of the health issues to be tackled in the town. The report states that long-term effects of poor air quality include an increase in heart and lung conditions that can lead to death, including lung cancer, while short-term effects include asthma and other breathing problems”

Ask yourself a very simple and basic question if it’s like this now what will it be like with another five or six large warehouse parks?   And ask yourself another question do you think those hundred soles we lose each and every year are evenly distributed throughout the borough or could it be they live in the areas most at risk?

 

Web Article Dec 2016 (14 of 19)

Air Quality receptor with one of the higher readings in the St Helens Boroughs AQMA.   It is often said for air quality we are all responsible we all drive cars don’t we? are we not part of the problem ? To a small extent yes but that being so why is everywhere not an air quality management zone ? why only Newton and the linkway in the St Helens borough are designated AQMA’s ?   The answer for Newton is very simple it’s the M6, that’s why we are an AQMA. Of course we cannot do anything about the M6 except not make it stellar times worse, we could of course not do that!   Standing slow running traffic is the danger and the fear is 24 x 7 HGV’s will slow the traffic on the local M6 to a crawl almost continuously day and night.   The HGV’s are likely to make existing day time traffic denser and the respite at night is likely to be obviated by HGV’s running through the night to take advantage of less commuter traffic.   From the perspective of air quality that is a lethal combination has the health and well being board in the council modelled the impact ? From today 100 deaths a year to ? in 2025 ?   The truth is no one knows but who is taking the risk ?   That of course is you and your family !

HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS PLANNED IN THE PREFERRED OPTIONS -ST HELENS MBC IN NEWTON AND HAYDOCK

Vast expanse of land between Vistra Road and Ashton Road from Makerfield Drive to the A580 - 870 Houses

Newton-Le-Willows – Land between Vista Road and Ashton Road from Makerfield Drive to the A580 – 870 Houses – Green Belt 115 acres

Haydock - land at Florida Farm Slag Lane Haydock - 56 acres green belt 570 Houses

Haydock – land at Florida Farm Slag Lane Haydock – Green Belt 570 Houses

 

Newton -Le Willows - Parcel B - Land between Ashton Road and M6 - 9 acres green belt 113 houses

Newton -Le Willows – Parcel B – Land between Ashton Road and M6 – Green Belt 113 houses

Newton Le Willows - Land to rear of 6 Ashton Road and Elms Farm and all land to west of Rob Lane.  Green Belt - 110 houses

Newton Le Willows – Land to rear of 6 Ashton Road and Elms Farm and all land to west of Rob Lane. 14 acres green belt – 110 houses

Newton-Le-willows - Land east of Rob Lane and rear of Castle Hill - 9 acres of green belt 105 houses

Newton-Le-willows – Land east of Rob Lane and rear of Castle Hill – Green Belt 105 houses

Newton-Le-willows – Land West of Winwick Road and south of Wayfarers Drive – 32 acres green belt 255 houses

Former Red Bank Community Home - 20 acres predominantly brown field - 150 houses

Former Red Bank Community Home – Brown Field 150 houses

Land East of Newlands Grange (New Vulcan Estate) - 40 acres green belt - 291 homes

Land East of Newlands Grange (New Vulcan Estate) – Green Belt 291 homes

 

Newlands Grange

Newton-Le-Willows – Newlands Grange – Brownfield – 600 houses and Supermarket

 

Newton-Le-Willows - Earlestown - Brownfield 185 houses

Newton-Le-Willows – Earlestown – Brownfield 185 houses

 

Newton-Le-willows - Land off Common Road / Swan Road - 9 acres green belt 107 houses

Newton-Le-willows – Land off Common Road / Swan Road – Green Belt 107 houses

Newton-Le-Willows – Former community hospital (Simms Ward) Bradlegh Road – 20 houses

DEVELOPMENTS AT WINWICK SOUTH – WARRINGTON MBC

Last of photos  (4 of 8)

Peel Hall Nature Reserve – Controversial plans to build a larger housing development that will impact Winwick Island already facing severe pressures

We started this article at the village of Winwick and we will finish it at the village of Winwick.   If you have read this far and are still with us (holding on) then we have one final shock.   As we have seen the village of Winwick is facing and (should St Helens plans be realised) will suffer severe congestion (even with improvements to the A49 to accommodate Parkside HGV’s and general traffic volume).   The final twist is there are plans to build 1200 homes on a nature reserve Peel Hall.   The traffic from this development will enter via Cromwell Avenue and compete with all other traffic at Winwick Island.   Try to put this in context of the potential developments at Haydock Island and you will start to release leaving some of these local towns by car will be effectively impossible at peak times.

Last of photos  (2 of 8)

Peel Hall concerned residents listen to a speaker at a public meeting earlier this year

Last of photos  (3 of 8)

BBC North West political respondant Phil McCann interviews resident Peel Hall

 

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS ARTICLE IF YOU AGREE WITH ST HELENS MBC PLANS THEN YOUR ACTION IS CLEAR, DO NOTHING.

HOWEVER IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF AND FAMILY TO COMMENT.   WE HAVE DEMONSTRATED IN THIS ARTICLE MAKING YOUR VIEWS KNOWN IS VERY SIMPLE.   ALTHOUGH THE FULL CONSULTATION FORM IS COMPLEX AND RATHER DAUNTING YOU HAVE OTHER OPTIONS THAT ALMOST EVERYONE SHOULD FIND IT EASY TO COMPLY WITH.   REMEMBER THE OFFICIAL COUNCIL FORM IS FOR ALL CONSULTEES SOME OF WHOM ARE STATUTORY CONSULTEES LIKE OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITIES, UTLITIES OR DEVELOPERS.   THIS IS MIXED IN WITH THE PUBLIC. THE COUNCIL WILL BE VERY FLEXIABLE FOLLOW OUR GUIDE AND BE SURE TO MAKE SURE YOU LET THEM KNOW YOUR COMMENTS ARE – FOR THE LOCAL PLAN PREFERRED OPTIONS CONSULTATION.

FINALLY THANK YOU FOR STAYING WITH THIS LONG ARTICLE AND WHATEVER YOUR VIEWS THE LOCAL COMMUNIY TEAM AT OLV WISH YOU ALL THE BEST FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.

 

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