Latest News April 2018

Link Road Plans Made Available

The Council have published plans for the new link road for public comment.

The full planning application can be found on the St Helens Planning website using this link: http://publicaccess.sthelens.gov.uk/online-applications/ Then search for P/2018/0249/FUL.

The map below shows the proposed route of the link road shown as the bold black line.

The context for the new link road can be found in our newsletter below.

Certain parties have promoted the link road as benefiting the community by alleviating traffic in some areas. PAG oppose the link road on the basis that it simply provides a convenient way for thousands of extra logistics vehicles using new warehouses at Parkside to use our local roads, especially given the easy access to the A580 in multiple directions. Some of these routes like Newton High Street pass through Air Quality Management Areas.

St Helens Council are the applicant for the Link Road. The Council Planning Committee will also decide whether to grant the application.

The funding for the road has been requested from the Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF) governed by the Liverpool Combined Authority. St Helens Council are also represented on the SIF committee which decide whether to grant the funding. The business case for the SIF funding includes £8M of public funding, hard to swallow on top of a maximum increase in Council rates and pressures on social services.

Recent publications have also made reference to the possibility of a rail manufacturing facility at Parkside. We want to point out that this is extremely misleading as the current Parkside planning application is for B8 use only (warehousing) and not B2 (manufacturing). A rail manufacturing facility may be a possibility for Parkside Phase 2 when that planning application is eventually lodged, but is also subject to the HS2 tendering process (4 other companies are tendering) and the decision of the company concerned whether to choose Parkside as its preferred location.

PAG are currently reviewing the link road planning application documentation and we will post more information here in the next few days.

If you wish to comment on link road planning application please email alankilroe@sthelens.gov.uk and copy melaniehale@sthelens.gov.uk, or alternatively write to: Alan Kilroe, Team Leader (East Area), Development Control, St Helens Council, Victoria Square, StHelens, WA10 1HP

Phase 1 Plan Open For Public Comments

Parkside Regeneration LLP has submitted the following planning application:

Parkside Regeneration LLP has submitted a planning application for an Outline permission for the construction of up to 92,900 m2 of Warehousing and other matters.

The full planning application can be found on the St Helens Planning website using this link: http://publicaccess.sthelens.gov.uk/online-applications/ Then search for P/2018/0048/OUP.

You still have time to submit your comments – read our newsletter below for how to do that.

Newsletter Feb 2018

Our latest Newsletter contains information about the planning application and how you can respond to the Council. Please click here to download the Newsletter. The closing date for responses is Thursday 8th March 2018 but you can submit comments up the point of determination. Every comment made adds weight to the view of the community, so please take a little time out to send an email to the Council. It really does help.

Key Points about the Phase 1 Planning Application

  • The applicant is Parkside Regeneration LLP. This company has been formed as a joint partnership between St Helens Council and Langtree Developments.
  • The Council previously invested £6M in the partnership including purchase of land. The Council will also decide whether the plan is approved or rejected (mark their own homework).
  • The application specifies two phases of development. A separate application will be submitted for Phase 2 which will also be located on Parkside West adjacent to the A49. Phase 2 will be dependent on the link road (see below).
  • All site access will be via the A49 for Phase 1 increasing traffic on our local roads.
  • The Traffic Assessment appears to have assumed only 10% of the traffic will turn right out of the site onto the A49. The other 90% will turn left out of the site onto the A49 in the direction of Winwick. This seems ridiculous given it is common sense that a high proportion of drivers will either arrive from or head for the A580. Using this split appears to purposely disguise impacts on Air Quality Management Areas like Newton High Street or junction delays on those routes? 
  • The applicant has recognised the potential future traffic congestion issues at Winwick and has discussed possible road alterations with Warrington Borough Council. Warrington BC have confirmed they are not funding any work, but will authorize any proposals by the applicant. The Phase 1 planning application does not include details of road alterations at Winwick.
  • A separate planning application for a new link road running from the A49 near the Parkside entrance to M6 J22 will be submitted in next few weeks. This is referred to as the Parkside Link Road or ‘PLR’.
  • The Council plan to obtain funding for the PLR from the Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF) managed by Liverpool Combined Authority (£27M).  The Council have applied for SIF funding and are a member of the SIF Funding Committee which approves the funding. The Council will also contribute £8M of their own funds towards the PLR as detailed in the SIF business case. Excepting the countless consultant fees the Council have funded over the years, this brings the total to £14M that the Council have set aside from their own funds to the scheme, quite incredible given a 6% increase in Council Tax is just around the corner in order to meet social needs in the main.
  • The Phase 1 planning application specifies that £73M will be required to fund the infrastructure for the scheme. It is not clear how this will be funded. The application makes no reference to potential occupiers or use other than distribution the implication being that the applicant intends to seek planning permission first with a view then to attracting occupiers. Warehouses will be up to 50m (164 feet) high.
  • Initial traffic assessments for the PLR last year indicated significant traffic increases for Newton High Street and Southworth Road. Both routes pass through Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA). The AQMA were established a few years ago to recognise poor air quality and the need for improvement because of health impacts.
  • The PLR will pass through open country side to the East of Parkside to connect to M6 J22 offering developers easy access green field sites adjacent to it and nearby to Winwick.
  • Parkside East was never part of the old colliery site but has now been reserved as the location for the Rail Freight Terminal in the draft of the next version of the Council’s Local Plan issued last year. It remains to be seen whether a Rail Freight Terminal will ever come to fruition though given the attractiveness of building big warehouses near motorways.
  • The Phase 1 planning application specifies that 60% of the former colliery spoil heap will need to be moved to accommodate the planned warehouse builds. The applicant recognises that the spoil heaps contain hazardous materials which may need to be removed from the site for onward processing. All construction traffic will use the A49.
  • The Phase 1 planning application reserves space for a ‘reversing loop’ to accommodate a future Rail Freight Terminal movements to Parkside East. The loop runs immediately adjacent to residents on the A49. If this were implemented at some point in the future, the nature of the curve in the line at the end of the loop would appear to suggest there may be high levels of noise (squealing) from train wheels that are often challenging to mute by train operators given the age/types of rolling stock.
  • The Phase 1 planning application is entirely in the Green Belt of the currently adopted Local Plan and also conflicts with policy CAS 3.2 which specifies use conditions for the site.