Four significant logistics schemes have been called in by Government, including developer Langtree and St Helens Council’s proposed regeneration of the 230-acre former colliery site in Newton-le-Willows.
The first phase of the scheme led by Parkside Regeneration, a joint venture between Langtree and the local authority, proposes a 1m sq ft industrial and logistics park on the site, which has lain derelict since 1992 when the colliery closed.
St Helens Council approved the outline planning application submitted last December, but the decision was recommended for sign-off by the Secretary of State because of its scale, and has now been called in.
The application forms part of a wider proposal for works across the Parkside area, which also crosses into Warrington. The logistics park, and a £38m link road that would cut across 93 acres of Warrington’s Green Belt and connect the colliery site to the motorway, are the first phases of a larger scheme of 505 acres, around the junction to the east and west of the site.
In a joint statement, St Helens Council leader David Baines and John Downes, chairman of Parkside Regeneration and group chief executive of Langtree, said: “While disappointing that the scheme has been called in, reviews of this type are not uncommon in the planning process and the joint venture will now work diligently to provide the information needed by the inquiry team.”
The statement added: “The plans are firmly in line with the council’s emerging local plan and demonstrate a very clear and compelling economic case. Even with our cautious economic forecasts we are predicting 1,330 end-user jobs in this first phase of the redevelopment of the parkside site as well as 457 construction jobs. This is a derelict colliery that once employed two thousand people.
“In addition, the development of strong manufacturing and logistics sectors are a stated priority for St Helens Council and current circumstances have demonstrated the importance of these industries more widely to our society.”
The secretary of state has also called in Liberty Properties Developments and Eddie Stobart’s plans for a £75m national distribution centre on land known land north of Barleycastle Lane in Warrington, Tritax Symmetry’s 1.4m sq ft Symmetry Park in Wigan, and Harworth Group’s West of Wingates, a proposed 1m sq ft industrial scheme near Wingates Industrial Estate in Bolton.