New Local Plan Background & Latest Position Jan 2019

Current position

In January 2019 the Council published the second issue of their local plan. The issue will come before a planning inspector who will chair a process called ‘Examination in Public’ or EIP. The inspector will only focus on areas of the plan where he/she sees contention or ambiguity from the comments that the Council has received. Therefore hopefully your previous comments will contribute to his/her consideration. Notably Parkside West has been completely omitted from the latest issue, presumably because the Council see this as a done deal which is far from the case. Both Parkside West and East are still proposed to be removed from the Green Belt with Parkside East remaining reserved for a Strategic Rail Freight Terminal. We would encourage you to comment on the second issue. To do this you will need to download the comment form from the Council’s web site and return it to them. We encourage you to indicate that the plan is unsound being contrary to strong public objection to the site being removed from Green Belt, inappropriate development in respect of adjacent residential areas, and the likelihood of significant increased traffic impacts and associated health impacts caused by depreciated air quality. Site traffic is also likely to further depreciate air quality in Air Quality Management Areas in vicinity of the site caused by increased traffic levels. The previous Prologis application which included development on both Parkside East and Parkside West anticipated introducing 17,000 extra vehicles/day to our local road network. The consultation on the second issue of the plan closes on 13/03/2019.

Background

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 your 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.

In 2015 the Council announced that it would be producing a New Local Plan. In preparation for this in January 2016 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 New Local Plan called ‘The St Helens Local Plan Preferred Options Stage’ commenced on the 5th December 2016 and closed in January 2017 .You can find the link to the Council’s documents here. A summary of what the Preferred Options stage contains can be found below. Use the scroll bars at the side to page through the slides:

The map below for the Parkside area is extracted from the Preferred Options document, (still valid for the second issue of the plan issued in Jan 2019).

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

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Last updated: 28-Jan-2019