Warrington landscape and river

The updated plan to deliver the homes, jobs, transport infrastructure and community facilities Warrington needs has been approved for consultation.

Warrington’s updated Proposed Submission Version Local Plan was given the go-ahead at the meeting of the Full Council on Monday 20 September, paving the way to a six-week period of public consultation, which will begin on Monday 4 October.

The consultation period will give everyone in Warrington the opportunity to have their say on the updated plan, by completing an online response form, or by attending the public consultation events – details of which will be released in the near future.

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “The development of our Local Plan has always been based upon open and honest discussion with local people. We have committed from the start to taking on board people’s views and, where necessary, refining the plan in partnership with our communities. We have listened to, and acted upon, many of the key issues raised.

“This, along with the significant changes we have seen since our Proposed Version Submission Local Plan was published in 2019 – not least the Covid pandemic and new Government housing methodology – mean it has been right to pause, take stock, re-evaluate and  revise our plan to make sure it is the best fit for Warrington now.

“Our updated Local Plan – in a changing world – continues to be fully focused on driving forward Warrington’s ambition and need for development, while protecting the Green Belt wherever possible

“It’s vital that the plan continues to be shaped by the people of our borough. Now Full Council has given the go-ahead to consult, we will once again be talking and listening to local people, and we will be holding a number of consultation events from October to give everyone the chance to share their views on the updated plans.”

The council received more than 3,000 responses to its initial, 20-year Proposed Submission Version Local Plan in 2019, and has taken on board many of the views of local people, much of which focused on how brownfield sites should continue to be prioritised ahead of Green Belt.

This, along with the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing Government housing methodology, has meant that, in preparing the updated Proposed Submission Version Local Plan, the council is proposing some big changes. These include:

•   A reduction in new housing from 945 a year over 20 years, to 816 a year over a reduced plan period of 18 years (2021-2038 inclusive).

•  Under the updated plan, the amount of land proposed to be removed from the Green Belt is 580 hectares, equating to 5% of the total amount of Green Belt land in the borough. This is significantly lower than the 1,210 hectares proposed in the previous Proposed Submission Version Local Plan which equated to 11% of the total amount of Green Belt.

•  The removal of the South West Urban Extension from the Plan (1,600 homes), the housing allocation for Phipps Lane in Burtonwood Village (160 homes), and the Massey Brook Lane site in Lymm (66 homes).

•  Moving away from the Garden Suburb concept in South Warrington (4,200 new homes), and instead including new proposals for a South East Warrington Urban Extension, with a reduced allocation of 2,400 new homes during the plan period.

•  The removal of Port Warrington (75ha employment land) and the Business Hub (25ha employment land) from the plan.

•   In addition, recent changes have enabled the council to include proposals which further maximise the opportunity to repurpose land, through the inclusion of the Fiddlers Ferry site for development. The closure of the power station in March 2020 has given the council the opportunity to bring the site into the allocation this time. This site was the subject of a high number of responses to our previous consultation.

For more information, and to read the draft Local Plan, please visit warrington.gov.uk/localplan

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