A revised 20-year local plan for Warrington will be voted on at the 13 September council cabinet meeting. Credit: via Warrington Council

Revised Warrington local plan releases 1,430 acres of Green Belt

Julia Hatmaker

Under the new 20-year proposal, the Cheshire borough would also aim for 14,688 new homes by the end of 2038 rather than 18,900 by the end of 2040.

Both the numbers for Green Belt release and for housing mark a reduction from the earlier local plan proposal, which was published in March 2019. More than 3,000 responses were submitted concerning that version, which led to this revised edition. This new plan has some “big changes” according to the council.

Green Belt

Those include changing the amount of Green Belt that would be released from 11%, or nearly 3,000 acres, to 5%. The revised plan also does not include several Green Belt sites. These include Phipps Lane in Burtonwood Village, which had previously been allocated 160 homes, and the Massy Brook Lane site in Lymm which had been allocated 66 homes. It also no longer includes the 1,600 homes allocation for the South West Urban Extension.

Both the Port Warrington and the Business Hub will no longer be designated employment land, meaning a reduction of 246 acres from the previous proposal.

However, the site of Fiddlers Ferry power station, which closed in March 2020, will now be ready for development. The new plan calls for 1,300 homes to be built there and for 250 acres to be designated for industrial and distribution use.

Council’s comment

Warrington Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “In developing our Local Plan, Warrington, like all local authorities, must meet the minimum housing figures set by the Government. However, a lot has changed since we initially consulted in 2019, not least the COVID pandemic, along with confirmation of the Government’s housing methodology and local decisions such as our declarations of climate and ecological emergencies.

“Our updated plan takes all of this into account while, vitally, addressing many of the issues raised during our public consultation in 2019. We have listened to the views of local people, and acted upon them, and I believe this is reflected in the new plan.”

What’s next

The revised plan will be discussed by Warrington Council’s cabinet on 13 September. If approved, the full council will vote on the scheme at its 20 September meeting. After that, a six week public consultation period will begin.

Your Comments

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Wow. Didn’t think Warrington had any green belt left.

By Drew

Seems to be some highly unrealistic timescales for delivery for Fiddlers Ferry in this document…

By Anonymous

More Green Belt lost

By Darren Born Bred.

and what about the proposed logistics development by the Lymm interchange 6/56 where is that hidden away?

By James Hall

Well done Warrington and In spite of a significant reduction on the amount of Green Belt to be released, this is still a sizable allocation from a progressive council that is clearly open for business.

Stockport needs to take note with it’s crackpot anti-green belt development agenda, as it is currently in the slow to nowhere and achieving nul points in it’s contribution to the leveling up agenda..

By Grumpy Old Git

Why do we bother make laws surrounding greenbelt areas when a council is able to just brush them asid whenever it wants? There are so many ‘brownbelt’ areas in and around Warrington which are available, why not prioritize those? It won’t be too long before we are ‘attached to Manchester and Liverpool and swallowed up then forgotten. I wish people wouldn’t stand by and allow this without any protest. Do we care about our town?


‘Greenbelt’ is merely a dated policy to prevent urban sprawl. It doesn’t necessarily mean lush, open fields. You can even have previously developed land/brownfield sites (no such thing as brownbelt) within the Greenbelt. Don’t let the name fool you.
The reality is that our population, housing needs and household formation have all changed and progressed since the dark ages when many Greenbelt policies were introduced. It’s time for a change, and it’s refreshing to hear an Authority is taking a pragmatic approach.

By Deja

The Greenbelt gestapo strike again. Everywhere was Greenbelt once.

By Elephant

@PETE the national and local policies which govern Green Belt explicitly allow local authorities to alter the boundaries in certain circumstances by following certain processes – Warrington is doing exactly that.

By Anonymous

Greenbelt was invented to protect house prices, supply and demand

By Cal

Wrong. Future generations will pay the price of the absurd decision to concrete over greenbelt.

By Shirley Taylor

Greenbelt policies were not created in the dark ages, they are a product of modern times to keep a check on urban sprawl, this island is not getting any bigger, in fact its getting smaller with rising sea levels and erosion; to continue to survive we need to find a balance with nature and other species, it will be to the detriment of both this planet and future generations for humans to continue to increase in numbers lay concrete everywhere and cause the decline and extinction of ecosystems and other precious species.

By Shirley Taylor

Build it

By Cal

We moved to Warrington from Runcorn 9 year’s ago because Halton council didn’t know when to stop annihilating the farmland with house’s.Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!!

By Mr B Movin

How will Warrington Hospital cope with the amount of new people coming into Warrington

By David Bratt

Yet again more houses means more pressure on an infrastructure that is already struggling, schools, hospitals and a main road link between Warrington and Merseyside will only become more chaotic. Will this housing be affordable for the people of Warrington or for those who use the area as an motorway link convenience

By Bernadette Williamson

The road’s in Warrington can’t cope now with the traffic, what will it be like when all these house’s are built. I imagine total road rage and road lock.

By Linda

Good morning, I don’t agree with building new homes on green belt land, brown field sites should be priority, also it will have an effect on the environment, we need to reduce the population in the future, as there will be no green spaces left, building more and more homes is not the answer,

By Bryony Alldred

If it benefit the council it will happen if it is not what the people would like to happen it will be pushed through by any means possible

By MarkHickey

Came here for the article, stayed for the comments! My favourite has to be Byrony calmly suggesting culling the population before building houses on Green Belt! Hope i’m not on ‘the Alldred List’
Can’t think of a more widely misunderstood policy than Green Belt land, these comments perfectly portray that. It needs a Louis Theroux documentary to sort it out.

By Same Old Housebuilder Bashing

It’s all very well new housing what about sorting the flood areas in Warrington ASAP

By Susan

Typically comment thread… All those in favour? All those who profit from houses being constructed. All those against? All those who have to deal with the congestion, strain on resources and loss of ‘space’ that determines one neighbourhood from another and, overall, improves quality of life. And if you have an opinion against a development then you’re accused of the ‘same old housebuilder bashing’. What a quality act. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be part of this industry.


@Shirley Taylor – will you be first in line to give up your home and go live in the woods so other people can get a roof over their heads then?

@Susan – Planning applications for new homes are supported by flood risk assessments and drainage strategies, which address flooding issues as part of development proposals – resulting in a benefit for existing houses and the wider area.

By Anonymous