Grappenhall Heys Map
The 400-home site at Grappenhall Heys

Controversial Warrington housing developments set for green light

Charlie Schouten

Warrington Council looks set to give the green light to two major housing developments in Grappenhall Heys and Appleton Cross that will provide 700 homes, despite objections from local councillors and residents.

Council planning officers have recommended that the Homes & Communities Agency’s outline planning application for 400 homes at the 49-acre site just off Witherwin Avenue be approved when its development management committee meets tomorrow.

The site in the village is not considered to be Green Belt land but has not been previously developed.

Planning officers have recommended the project for approval despite objections from two local councillors, local residents, and organisations including the Woodland Trust.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Brian Axcell argued the new development would create “unacceptable” levels of congestion and that further infrastructure works would be needed before the project went ahead.

“When previous development at Grappenhall Heys came forward it was made it clear that no more development here or at Appleton Cross would be allowed until the Howshoots Link Road is constructed, but this is not part of the proposals and on this ground alone the planning application should be refused,” he said.

Cllr Judith Wheeler, also a Liberal Democrat, objected to the scheme on infrastructure and transport grounds, adding: “To say that this development is sustainable is wrong.”

Five parish councils – Grappenhall & Thelwall, Appleton, Stockton Heath, Lymm, and Stretton – also objected to the scheme, as did the Woodland Trust, which argued the development would threaten local wildlife and woodlands.

As well as this, the council received more than 360 objections from local residents.

However, planning officers said the HCA’s proposals were “fully compliant with the council’s planning obligations” and there would be “no overriding adverse impacts which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the potential benefits of granting planning permission”.

The application has been recommended for approval based on a Section 106 agreement, which includes a £1.6m contribution from the HCA. Contributions will include nearly £700,000 towards new classrooms at Grappenhall Heys Primary School and more than £500,000 towards classrooms at Bridgewater High School.

Atkins is acting as consultant on the scheme.

The Grappenhall Heys site is one of two sites going before planners tomorrow – the other is a 370-home development at Appleton Cross, which is also recommended for approval.

This has also proved controversial, with local councillors, parish councils, and local residents all objecting to the scheme. The council received more than 310 objections from local residents, many of whom argued that the new development would create major congestion on the local road network.

The application has been recommended for approval based on a section 106 agreement, which includes a £1.4m contribution from the HCA towards primary education, and a £1.1m provision for secondary education.

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