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.
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.
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.”
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.