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Warrington Borough Council - in accordance with government requirements - has prepared a "Local Plan", setting out its growth forecast and plans for housing and economic provision as part of its preferred vision of the town's future. The plan has been met with anger from many across the Warrington area and has been subject to local newspaper coverage, residents' meetings and formal objections from its parish councils. Nevertheless, it appears that the concerns raised by citizens and organisations in Warrington over the breadth and scale of the plan have been dismissed and the council seem content to proceed.

The Local Plan aims to deliver 18,900 new homes (or 945 a year) up to 2037, with much of the development taking place on greenbelt and greenfield land in South Warrington, a hitherto mainly rural area. The plan is absolutely not limited to South Warrington and significant green space across the town is likely to disappear as the plan is realised over the forthcoming years. 

According to the "Local Plan",

"Our projected housing figures aim to match Warrington's expected growth and ensure enough homes are provided to support the number of jobs that will be created from Warrington’s future economic growth. The areas of Green Belt proposed for development would need to be released to meet Government figures and while our priority is to protect as much Green Belt as possible, we also need to ensure we build enough affordable properties for young buyers, accessible homes for people with disabilities and homes for elderly people as our ageing population continues to grow."

While more housing must be created in Warrington- and most importantly - affordable housing, the level of development the council claims will be required over the coming years has been robustly challenged by professionals and parish councils in the Warrington area. Further, the council's willingness to achieve these alleged housing needs at the expense of the greenbelt has been met with consternation from residents and local groups who care about their green space and do not want to see it disappear unnecessarily. 

Plans for housing and employment sites within Warrington include Peel Hall, where 1200 houses are planned for precious greenfield space. Green belt land would also be released to build 160 homes in Burtonwood, 75 homes in Croft, 200 homes in Culcheth, 90 homes in Hollins Green, 430 homes in Lymm and 130 homes in Winwick. 

The plans are far more extensive for South Warrington, with the aim to build over 7000 houses across greenbelt and greenfield land in the coming years.  This includes a "garden suburb", plans for industrial units and also major distribution sites across South Warrington.


It should be noted that nearly 1000 houses have already been given the "green light" by the council at locations in Grappenhall and Appleton on land that is not designated greenbelt. So housing is being provided in South Warrington. But if the council's proposed development plan proceeds in its current form the majority of the greenbelt and remaining greenfield space will disappear from South Warrington forever, leaving a mass sprawl of housing development from Dudlows Green to the M6. 

If the plan does go ahead it will remain to be seen what long term damage this level of mass urbanisation and obliteration of the countryside in South Warrington will do to the economic and aesthetic fortunes of the town. Certainly, the advertisements on the property developers' websites regaling prospective South Warrington buyers with accounts of their future homes "set among leafy street scenes and the beautiful countryside of South Warrington" will need a rewrite to avoid claims of misrepresentation. If a town is marketed as attractive for investment and it ceases to be attractive - instead just mass urbanisation, roundabouts and HGV vehicles thundering to oversized distribution depots on what was once countryside, then what do we have left?








Photograph courtesy of Dave Weston

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This is the current green space in South Warrington -

Grappenhall, Thelwall, Appleton area

Garden Suburb Plan for residential devel



This is the plan to eradicate the majority of the green space


According to the Local Plan the area highlighted dark green will be the only area of green space left.  This is going to be allocated to the residents of South Warrington as a "park". It should be noted that much of it is scrub / neglected and comprises mainly young trees planted recently. There is a dearth of mature trees / hedging in this part of the local landscape. There are some thin ribbons of green left but much of the greenbelt will be gone.


The area inside the blue marking will be the only real green space left if the plan goes ahead



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