Warrington local plan found sound

A Cheshire council's local plan has been found sound by an inspector after it was modified to include a 1,100-home urban extension.

Warrington Town Hall. Pic: Michael Ely, Wikipedia

Warrington Borough Council’s local plan core strategy proposes the building of an average of 500 homes a year up to 2027 and a minimum of 10,500 during the plan period.

In his report, inspector Mike Fox has published a series of modifications agreed with the council.

One of the key changes is the introduction of a proposal to allocate about 1,100 new homes at a former United States air force base that the plan describes as a "sustainable urban extension to West Warrington".

Previously, the site, called Omega, was to be designated as solely employment land but this use would now be "the primary focus" alongside the residential aspect.

Another modification is the deletion of a policy identifying land at Appleton, Grappenhall Heys, Peel Hall and Pewterspear Green as contingency sites for future housing development.

Fox’s report said: "These sites were not proposed for development within the plan period and their inclusion within the plan gave rise to uncertainty."

The plan was submitted to the government for examination in September 2012 and examination hearing sessions were held in June 2013 and March 2014, after which the council agreed with the inspector to make the changes.

In a statement the council said the changes and amendments have now been approved by the inspector.

Terry O’Neill, the council leader, said: "This document provides a robust plan that will shape and protect the way in which our town evolves and develops over the coming decades.

"Importantly it will also support our ambitions for the growth of our town set out in our growth framework Warrington Means Business."

This final version of the plan will be put before the council for formal approval on 21 July.

More details on the examination, including the inspector's report, can be found here.


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