Have your say on Warrington’s 20-year growth plan

Local Plan Published: Wednesday, 19th July 2017

Consultation is officially under way over the plans to ensure Warrington has the jobs, homes and infrastructure it needs to continue to thrive up to 2037.

Warrington’s Local Plan has reached the Preferred Development Option stage, and local people are being invited to take part in the eight-week consultation, complete the on-line form and visit one of the eight drop-in sessions being held across the borough.

The Preferred Development Option sets out how Warrington can meet its development needs of approximately 24,000 new homes and 381 hectares of employment land, over the next 20 years.

It identifies four main areas of growth – the City Centre, the Waterfront, the Garden City Suburb and the South West Urban Extension – together with the infrastructure required to ensure Warrington’s long term growth is sustainable. 

Detailed work carried out by the council has found that it is possible to deliver approximately 15,000 new homes and 129 hectares of employment in existing urban areas. This means that land will need to be released from the Green Belt to deliver approximately 9,000 new homes and 252 hectares for employment. 

The consultation has now started, running until Tuesday 12 September 2017, and the council is encouraging everyone who has views to have their say. People can get involved by visiting www.warrington.gov.uk and typing ‘Local Plan’ into the search box. There, you can complete an on-line consultation form, get more information and see a full list of all of the sites submitted for consideration by developers.

The council is also running a series of eight community drop-in sessions - giving local people the chance to get advice and information, air their views, look at maps and ask questions – as follows:

Thursday 20 July - Winwick Leisure Centre, 4pm to 8pm
Tuesday 25 July – Bridgewater High School, Lower Hall site, 3pm to 8pm
Wednesday 2 August – Village Hotel, 3pm to 8pm
Wednesday 9 August – Birchwood Leisure Centre, 3pm to 8pm
Monday 14 August – Penketh High School, 3pm to 8pm
Thursday 17 August - Culcheth Library, 3pm to 8pm
Tuesday 22 August – Lymm Village Hall, 3pm to 8pm
Thursday 7 September – Pyramid Centre , 3pm to 8pm

The council is also looking into the possibly of adding another two community drop-in events, in other areas which may be impacted by possible future development. Details of these will be confirmed in the near future.  

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Terry O’Neill, said: “Our Local Plan is hugely important because of the central role it will play in guiding our growth and development over the next two decades. That’s why it’s vital that local people have their say.

“We know that there will be strong views over locations – urban and Green Belt - where development should happen, over sites which should not be developed, and over sites which should  be developed carefully. Getting involved in the consultation gives you the chance to play your part in shaping the future of our borough, by letting us know what matters to you.”

The council will take on-board all consultation responses in working up the formal version of the Local Plan, which it is anticipated will be published in February 2018.

About the Local Plan

•          Under government policy, every local planning authority is expected to deliver sustainable economic growth through up-to-date Local Plans which contain strategies and initiatives to achieve their aims.

•          Not progressing a Local Plan will mean that the Council risks losing control over the location, amount and quality of new development. There is also a risk that if the Council does not make sufficient progress in reviewing its Local Plan, the Secretary of State will take over Plan preparation.

•          In total, the Council received over 150 submissions for its Local Plan ‘Call for sites’. The vast majority of sites are located in the Green Belt. Of these, the predominate land use being promoted is residential, although there are significant employment and mixed use proposal sites.

•          In preparing the proposals, the Council has worked closely with Council and external service providers to understand the potential implications for existing services and infrastructure – such as schools, health facilities, community facilities and utilities - and to identify the new infrastructure which will be required to support growth.