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.
For planning application documents and details on how to make you comments refer to our summary of planning applications page.
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 has been submitted by St Helens Council (see planning application summary page). 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 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.
Please also see our detailed response to the application on our response page.