Green light for Runcorn housing

Housebuilder Gleeson has won full approval for a 139-home scheme at the former ICI recreation club site in Weston Point.

The plans necessitate the demolition of the Pavilions clubhouse at the Sandy Lane site. Although the playing fields at the site will be built on, community football club Runcorn Town will remain in place at the northern portion of the site, and with a 99-year lease in sight, is supportive of the plans.

Two bowling greens close to the club will also remain, to be accessed through the new housing area.

The site sits on the other side of Picow Farm Road to a Viridor energy-from-waste plant, reportedly the UK’s largest incinerator, partly why the proposal has aroused strong feelings locally.

In all, 68 representations were made over the plan, with concerns including loss of open space, development on green space, noise and air quality. The ley sticking point could have come from Sport England, but pending completion of a £500,000-plus Section 106 deal to mitigate loss of playing field space, the body will withdraw its objection. Gleeson will also pay for improvements to the remaining facilities on site.

Although the site is designated as greenspace in Halton’s unitary development plan, planning officers recommended that on balance, authority should be delegated to the planning director for approval, pending the Section 106 agreement.

The plans include 44 two-bedroom houses, 81 three-bedroom houses and 14 four-bedroom houses.

Planner NJL Consulting has worked with Sheffield-headquartered Gleeson on the project. Westgate Consulting, HR Wallingford, Infrastructure Planning & Design, Nexus Heritage, Twenty10 and Influential have also been involved on the professional team.

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139 homes building on fields and no mention of the word.. affordable.

By Darren born bred.

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