Warrington Council hopes to adopt the local plan in autumn 2023. Credit: via Warrington Council

Govt hearings for Warrington Local Plan start

The local plan calls for the release of 1,430 acres of Green Belt, as well as the building of 14,688 homes by the end of 2038.

Planning inspectors Kevin Ward and Andrea Mageean, appointed by the secretary of state, will examine Warrington’s Local Plan over the course of four weeks beginning on 6 September. During this time, they will hear from citizens, concerned parties and the council over the development strategy document.

The first two weeks of hearings will be held at Warrington Conference Centre at Halliwell Jones Stadium. The third week will be at the council chamber at Warrington Town Hall. The final week will be held virtually.

Upon the conclusion of the hearings, the inspectors will share if any changes need to be made. The council will then take the local plan to the full council to be adopted.

If all goes to plan, the council said that the local plan could be adopted by autumn 2023.

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, described the government hearings as an “important milestone” for the local plan.

“It is a statutory requirement of the government for every local authority to have a viable local plan, and we’ve worked hard to develop a plan – listening to the views of local people – which meets the needs of our borough,” Bowden said.

“I hope that the inspectors, once they have considered all the evidence, will agree that this plan is the right fit for Warrington.”

In addition to the push for 14,688 homes by 2038, other key aspects of the proposed Warrington Local Plan include providing 780 acres of employment land to fulfil economic needs.

The local plan includes requirements for residential developments of 10 or more homes to include housing for older people as well as affordable housing. Within Inner Warrington, these schemes would need to provide 20% affordable housing, while the figure would be 30% elsewhere.

The proposed 1,430 acres of land to be removed from the Green Belt includes Fiddlers Ferry, which is set to have a minimum of 1,760 homes and around 250 acres of employment development. Peel NRE purchased the former power station site earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.

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