Warrington could reduce Green Belt release by third in adjusted local plan
A second consultation on the Planning Inspectorate’s proposed changes to the Warrington Local Plan runs through 5 July.
The proposed modifications would make the local plan, which would be in effect until 2039, “sound” in the inspectorate’s view.
The chief change centres around Green Belt release, with the modifications seeking to remove 960 acres from the protected status – down from the previously proposed 1,430 acres. This amounts to a release of 3.4% of the borough’s Green Belt land. The earlier figure was 5%.
Other key changes include the reduction of employment land need from 781 acres to 415. With the reduction comes the removal of South East Warrington Employment Area from the plan.
The Fiddlers Ferry power station site has also seen its allocation of 1,760 homes slashed by more than half to 860. The 820-acre Fiddlers Ferry site is owned by Peel NRE, which lodged plans in March for a 1.4m sq ft industrial scheme on part of the land.
Plans to deliver a new urban quarter on the Waterfront would also take a backseat, according to the inspectorate’s modifications.
The proposed change reads: “Opening up the Waterfront as a new urban quarter also remains a key element of the spatial strategy, but given current uncertainties around funding of the Western Link, the delivery of the Waterfront cannot be relied upon during the plan period.”
Initial consultation on the plan changes was held in March and April and received 95 responses. Warrington Council opted to reopen the consultation after it was made aware that not everyone had been notified of that first consultation.