The scheme was eventually called in by Michael Gove. Credit: via Merrion Strategy

More frustration over 3.1m sq ft Warrington industrial  

The Planning Inspectorate will not make a final decision on Langtree and Panatonni’s £180m employment scheme off Junction 20 of the M6 for at least another six months – by then, the project will have been in planning purgatory for well over two years. 

A challenge to Warrington’s recently adopted local plan from an unnamed party has resulted in another significant delay for the 3.1m sq ft industrial project, known as Six56. 

The hold-up is likely to frustrate both those in support of the scheme and those hoping it will be rejected. 

The Planning Inspectorate said the case had been adjourned until June at the earliest while the local plan challenge is dealt with. 

The challenge “goes to the heart of the remaining issues” of the Six56 inquiry, according to the Planning Inspectorate. 

The scheme is proposed for land that had been earmarked for release from the Green Belt under Warrington’s draft local plan.  

However, the allocation has been stripped from the final edition of the plan and will remain as Green Belt. 

Outline approval was given for Six56 in March 2022, following which Michael Gove decided not to call in the scheme, a decision described as a “major milestone” by Langtree chief executive John Downes.  

However, as Warrington wrestled with its local plan, Gove then announced a U-turn just a month later, and in November it was confirmed that the scheme would be called in after all.  

Despite backing the project in 2022, last year, Warrington Council said it would neither support nor oppose the scheme at the inquiry. 

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And we wonder why things are so expensive in this country….

By Observer

The way this application has been (mis)handled must surely be one of the worst recent examples of failures in the British planning system. Utterly shambolic from national to local level.

By Lee

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