Halton launches final consultation on 8,050-home plan
The council is undertaking its final eight-week consultation on its Local Plan, including gauging public views on releasing Green Belt land for development, before it is submitted to the Government.
Under the Local Plan, Halton is looking to deliver at least 8,050 homes in the plan period, which covers between 2014 and 2037.
It is also looking to deliver 445 acres of land for employment use; up to 100,000 sq ft of town centre retail; and around 50,000 sq ft of retail warehousing.
Development will be focussed on five areas: Halebank and the Ditton Corridor in Widnes; South Wides; West Runcorn; East Runcorn; and North Widnes.
Halebank focusses around encouraging investment in industrial and employment sites, particularly multi-modal freight, while South Widnes incorporates the town centre, the West Bank and the waterfront. West Runcorn’s plan will aim to redevelop brownfield land, while both East Runcorn and North Widnes will see extensions into green field plots.
Sites set to be allocated for housing include around Delph Lane West in Daresbury, and in the Central Housing Area, also in Daresbury. Sandymoor, Halton Lea, and Wharford Farm in Runcorn are all set to see further housing development, along with two sites in Widnes.
Development of local centres including retail has been allocated at Sandymoor in Runcorn, Keckwick Hill in Daresbury and at West Bank in South Widnes to support housing delivery.
Green Belt is more likely to be released around Daresbury, Moore, and Preston-on-the-Hill.
The council is targeting 30% of its residential development in the plan period to be on brownfield land. At strategic housing sites, developers will be required to deliver 20% affordable homes; this rises to 30% for greenfield development, while developers who build on brownfield sites will not be required to provide affordable homes.
For employment land, four main sites are identified: SciTech Daresbury; 3MG in Widnes; the Widnes Waterfront; and West Runcorn. Part of the 3MG site already has outline permission to deliver around 430,000 sq ft of warehousing.
Consultation started on 25 July and will run until 19 September.
Cllr Ron Hignett, the council’s portfolio for the built environment, said the consultation document “will seek to find and allocate the most sustainable sites to provide new housing and jobs, without these our local economy cannot grow and prosper and without the right infrastructure of all types to support that growth, our communities will not thrive.
“Because of this, the plan is about more than just finding sites to build on. It is also about identifying where building shouldn’t happen at all or where particular care must be taken. Its policies protect what is important to local people such as parks and playing pitches, Conservation Areas and Local Wildlife Sites,” he said.
“The development management policies need to be flexible enough to respond to legislative and market changes, whilst allowing the Council to strive for excellence in all development that arises from the proposals it makes decisions upon.”