Warrington Local Plan thru , Warrington Council, p council documents

The Warrington Local Plan was adopted by the council in December 2023. Credit: via council documents

Satnam challenges Warrington Local Plan

The spatial development framework is now the subject of a legal challenge from the strategic land promoter – a case that is being considered by the High Court.

Warrington Council adopted its 2021-2039 local plan in December last year. The next month, a request for a judicial review of the document was issued by Brooklyn Ltd.

While Brooklyn Ltd is the named party on the legal challenge, strategic land promoter Satnam Millennium is behind the case and has appointed Landmark Chambers barrister Neil Cameron KC to represent the company before the court.

Kings Chambers’ barrister Paul Tucker KC is acting for Warrington Council.

Place understands that the judicial review request is centred around whether or not the local authority conducted enough consultation prior to adopting the document.

The High Court is currently examining Satnam’s request to determine whether or not it should be given a full hearing. Meanwhile, Warrington Council appears unworried by Satnam’s legal challenge to its local plan.

A Warrington Council spokesperson told Place North West: “We can confirm a challenge has been made to our newly adopted local plan. The council is confident that the adopted local plan is fully legally compliant, and we will be rigorously contesting this challenge.”

Satnam has not been shy about its feelings over the latest Warrington Local Plan. Satnam and Brooklyn have together lodged at least two written statements against the local plan during the examination process.

The first, from September 2021, stated that the local plan failed to meet housing needs by not allocating land at Clay Lane in Burtonwood for a minimum of 250 homes and by not removing that land from Green Belt. That same written statement took umbrage at the inclusion of Fiddlers Ferry as a housing site – noting that it would require major infrastructure and would not be capable of delivering the number of homes allocated to it during the local plan’s timescales.

The objection to Fiddlers Ferry’s inclusion continued in a letter a year later, with Satnam writing that the proposed timeline for delivering the housings for Fiddlers Ferry was “overly optimistic to the point of being unrealistic”.

In acknowledgement of Satnam’s letters, the number of homes allocated for the Fiddlers Ferry site, which is owned by Peel NRE, was reduced from 1,300 to 860.

Satnam also has a history of challenging local plans in Warrington. Satnam was behind the quashing of the housing provision policies and residential allocation in the 2014 local plan, which the land promoter challenged in 2015.

One reason Satnam criticised that plan was its failure to allocate a Satnam site – Peel Hall – for resi. As a result, Satnam argued that the local plan failed to provide an appropriate level of housing development.

The High Court found in favour of Satnam, agreeing that the need for affordable housing had not properly been factored into the housing provision and that Warrington Council had failed to carry out enough strategic environmental assessments of strategic sites.

At the time, the local authority was ordered to pay Satnam’s legal fees to the tune of £84,000. Satnam went on to sell the 170-acre Peel Hall site to Countryside Partnerships and Torus Developments for more than £100m.

Satnam’s legal challenge to the latest Warrington local plan has proved a frustration elsewhere in the borough. The Planning Inspectorate has postponed its decision on Langtree and Panattoni’s £180m Six56 employment scheme until the local plan issue is resolved.

The Six56 inquiry deals with another issue with the latest local plan. The industrial scheme would be built on Green Belt that was released in the draft local plan. However, in the adopted plan the land was reallocated as Green Belt. This was despite the council granting planning permission to the project in March 2022.  In November later that year, Secretary of State Michael Gove decided to call the project in for examination.

As Satnam’s battle with Warrington Council continues, one can expect the two industrial developers will be keeping a close eye on the outcome.

Your Comments

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They were right to challenge it last time so I doubt they would again unless they have strong grounds.


Underestimate those Satnam lads at your peril, Warrington Council. They have form. One to keep an eye on, this.

By Anonymous

Well done satnam.

By Tannoy

Another classic example where a developer nags government endlessly that planning takes too long…and local plans too long to prepare…and then they challenge them at the end of a hugely costly, public, objective and exhaustive process to take them down when their own sites are not accepted. The system is clearly broken.

By Informed planner

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