Warrington to trigger £8.2m Omega highways spending

Warrington Council’s executive board will next week be asked to give the go-ahead to Omega Local Highways Phase 3, a series of improvements to the road network around the Omega site, now firmly established as a logistics hotspot and moving into a phase of residential development.

The executive will be asked to accept funding of £8.2m due in Section 106 agreements from Omega Warrington Ltd, and allocate that sum to 2018-2019’s capital programme.

The executive board will also be asked to approve the extension of the existing construction contract at Burtonwood Road/Kingswood Road, where work is due to start soon, onto the initial stage of the Phase 3  project, which will be the continuation of the widening southbound from Kingswood Road to the Westwood Way roundabout, a proposal supported by recent consultation.

Omega Warrington – a partnership between Miller Developments and KUC Properties, part of RBS’s real estate rm – is obliged to deliver Omega Local Highways Phase 3 as part of its outline consent for residential in zones 3-6 of the Omega site, comprising around 1,100 homes.

Miller Homes is already on site with 200 houses, while Redrow has secured consent for 158 homes and has a further 86 lined up.

As well as these homes and further employment sites at Omega, the road improvements will support the devlivery of up to 400 houses at Lingley Mere.

The works are likely to procured through the Scape Civil Engineering Framework, putting sole framework contractor Balfour Beatty in line to pick up the project.

A report for the executive said: “These interventions are phased and are tied into development caps applied to the permission. OWL is in the process of securing developer agreements to bring forward the first two phases of circa 450 units, which will be above the initial caps and hence these will need to be lifted to facilitate this house building.”

OWL approached Warrington last summer to expedite the process, and the council will now act as the highways authority, moving workers on once works are completed at junction 8 of the M62 and then at Burtonwood Road, offering a central management that should allow disruption to be kept to a minimum. Balfour Beatty is the contractor on these jobs.

Officers have been negotiating with OWL for three months as to a suitable amount to be drawn down. Although the broad scheme is established, the council’s report said it could refine plans to give the best outcomes.

As well as supporting the delivery of housing and employment space, the improvements will help the Omega development areas integrate better with the existing networks for pedestrians and cyclists.

The report summed up: “The project will provide additional highway capacity, enhanced network resilience and improved pedestrian facilities for the wider West Warrington highway network, complimenting other priority transport schemes the Council is bringing forward in the next three years.”

Warrington Council’s executive is due to meet on 12 February.

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