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St Helens Council About to Remove Vast Swathes of Green Belt

The Local Plan or Core Strategy as it sometimes termed defines the local planning strategy for the St Helens Authority. It sets the scene for the types of development the Council wish to pursue and their location. The current plan was adopted in 2013 after a long consultation which PAG was heavily involved with. You may remember the many newsletters and leaflets we dropped through you letter boxes asking for your support to protect the Green Belt. In the end with your support we were successful in building in safeguards to preserve the Green Belt status of the area. According to UK planning law developers need to meet certain ‘Special Circumstances’ before their plans can be approved to build on Green Belt land. The Council have always wanted to remove vast amounts of land in the Parkside area far in excess of the previous colliery site boundary to provide an easy ride for developers to build on open Country side.

Earlier this year the Council announced that it would be producing a new Local Plan. In preparation for this in January they issued a separate consultation once again on Green Belt. Undoubtedly the aim of the consultation was to lay the ground for their next attack on Green Belt as part of a New Local Plan. The Council presented reports which over-inflated the need for warehousing in the area by claiming that building warehousing on Green Belt land was the only way to meet the demand for jobs in the St Helens Authority. Other development types and brown field sites were dismissed. With your help we objected once again challenging the misinformation in the report.

A public consultation for the draft of the new Local Plan will commence at the start of December this year. The consultation will be called ‘St Helens Local Plan Preferred Options Stage’. So what will the new plan contain? Fortununately our supporters noticed the Council published a draft in preparation for a Council meeting on the 16-Nov-2016. This gives us an insight into the Council’s direction. Their preferred options include:

  • REMOVAL of Green Belt for new Warehousing at Haydock (Florida Farm)
  • REMOVAL of Green Belt for the former Parkside Colliery for new Warehousing (‘Parkside West’, Freight Terminal Trojan Horse)
  • REMOVAL of Green Belt for new Warehousing to the East of Parkside extending all the way from the railway bridge to Winwick motorway junction (‘Parkside East’. Freight Terminal Trojan Horse)
  • REMOVAL of Green Belt for new Warehousing north east of Junction M6 J23, south of Haydock Racecourse, Haydock
  • REMOVAL of Green Belt for 820 houses adjacent to Vista Road.

Link to Local Plan Preferred Options Draft

The map below is extracted from the document ….

local-plan-2016-removal-of-green-belt

And here are a few bullets from the document that may be of interest …

local-plan-2016-use-of-a49

Notice how they plan to completely congest the A49. Notice too how they fail to mention exactly how they will prevent lorries and white van man clogging up Newton Hight Street and other local roads, and further contribute to air quality and health issues in existing Air Quality Management Areas. Rather convenient they don’t mention this!

The net impact of developments adjacent to J23 M6 and Parkside is to potentially completely embargo Newton-Le-Willows. The Council acknowledge in their document that 65% of the St Helens Borough is Green Belt, but have chosen to concrete over our community rather than something closer to home.

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13-Nov-2016