OLV News



At Haydock Island this…….





To become this……

Quickly following on from the news Florida Farm application will not be called in by the planning inspector is the news the planning application for Haydock Point is now also on the planning portal as a live application.   Both these sites are very large warehousing complexes (approx 100 acres each) either side of Haydock Island.   We would expect also an application for phase one of the 200 acre Parkside warehousing site later this year.   It’s worth noting all these sites are on green belt, the decision to remove the land from green belt status (in theory) to be taken by government inspector in 2018.  However the council are approving, in advance, by local planning application (LPA) and there will be nothing for the inspector to inspect in 2018 as the sites could well be operational.   It appears the inspectors approval might be retrospective.

That to us in unclear in NPPF planning terms / localism plan led (not in current local plan) and also the demonstration of exceptional circumstances (necessary to remove green belt status under the legislation) remains unclear to us.  The future Parkside application will be interesting if also determined by St Helens council’s own LPA as St Helens are joint equity holder in the venture and hence could be approving its own application technically.

To see the application for Haydock Point from St Helens MBC Planning Portal reference is P/2017/0254/OUP

Direct Link Here

Link to details of St Helens MBC funding of Parkside Site (obtained by FOI), see here

6th March 2017 (1 of 1)

Mill Lane – Newton Le Willows very quiet in the middle of a week in the daytime. But its not the daytime thats the problem. Read on for a serious problem occuring in the past year thats badly affecting the quality of life for residents of Mill Lane.

Our Local Voice has been contacted by a number of residents of Mill Lane Newton-le-Willows to publication of their plight emerging in the past 12 months regarding HGV’s now running through the night for unexplained reasons.  Whereas it is accepted residents of mill lane live on the busy A49 road and therefore high traffic volumes are to be expected and they are also aware of recent M6 roadwork’s closures.

However the residents have lived there for many years and this is to a prodigious level never experienced before. The HGV’s always start around midnight and flow continuously or in close batches until around 6am.  For the people living along Mill Lane in the past 12 months it has been unbearable and residents have complained of stress and ongoing lack of sleep. There is also complaints of speeding by HGV which adds to the already excessive noise level particularly as the HGV’s pass over road undulations or manhole covers.

Residents have written to the council and with their permission we reproduce the response from the council below.

Partly of course this is due to M6 closures the reconstruction work on junction 22.   However the HGV run almost every night whether the M6 is closed or not.

The response from the council could be better.

The letter is unsigned and slightly condescending as the residents are well aware of the status of the A49. Also the council suggestion the residents monitor the road for speeding traffic from midnight to daybreak is not really a practical solution. The council seem as unclear why this is happening as much as the residents.   Given the council are planning to route HGV on the A49 in stage one of the Parkside Logistics development then it would be advantageous if the council paid this issue more attention.

A49 Mill Lane – Volume of Heavy Goods Vehicles and speeding issues

I refer to your enquiry in which you have expressed your concern with regard to the number of speeding Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) using A49 Mill Lane and I wish to make the following comments.

Firstly, I must advise you that with Mill Lane being the A49 is one of the main transport corridors within the Borough and as such is expected to accommodate all traffic including HGVs.

Indeed, all Local Authorities, such as this Council, encourage the use of primary routes, i.e. Class A roads to reach their destination, by providing appropriate traffic signage.

Running somewhat parallel to the M6 Motorway, the A49 is clearly a diversion route which is used when stretches of the adjacent motorway temporary closed for essential maintenance works or emergency incidents. It may well have been the case that such a diversion was taking place at the period and time that you had highlighted.

As to placing a restriction on the passage of freight traffic on the A49, I can advise you that it would only divert these HGVs onto less suitable routes, therefore with the A49 forming part of the national primary rout network, I wish to advise you that I cannot accede to your request for such a restriction.

In terms of the speed limit of the A49 in the stretch within the rural area, is de-restricted and then 40 mph which is deemed appropriate given the rural aspect, entering the more built up area, the speed limit is 30 mph.

At this interface of speed limits, the Council has over the years, has implemented a gateway feature, inclusive of countdown signage and road marking enhancements to emphasise the differing limits.

There is obviously a personal responsibility on all road users, including drivers to proceed with due care and attention at all times and comply with the law. The enforcement of speed limits is undertaken by the Police, who have the statutory powers to prosecute errant drivers, unlike the Council.

Nevertheless, I will liaise with Merseyside Police and request them to undertake some speed enforcement activity on this stretch of the A49.

In the meantime, should you witness any incidents of excessive speeding you may wish to report them to the Police, who unlike the Council have the enforcement powers to prosecute the offending drivers.

I trust that the above information will be of assistance to you and I am sorry I cannot be more helpful at the present time.

Merseygateway bridge



You may be aware of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge which will open from August 2017.   Residents of the Halton Borough are eligible for a pass at a cost of £10 per year. Anybody outside that area will be required to pay £2 each way to cross the bridge. The charges will apply to both the new bridge and the current Silver Jubilee Bridge. This will put an extra cost of about £80 a month around £1000 a year to commuters. This is to be welcomed for one-off journeys and will help the general infrastructure in the North West and in the Runcorn area which suffers severe traffic congestion.   But there is a risk regular commuters, to avoid the toll on both bridges, will avoid the Runcorn route to North Wales and Chester and take the M6 / M56 putting extra pressure on M6 junction 21A and the Thelwall viaduct and M56 link.