Place strategy

Government hearings for Warrington local plan start today

The local plan calls for the release of 1,430 acres of greenbelt, as well as the construction of 14,688 housing units by the end of 2038.

Planning Inspectors Kevin Ward and Andrea Mageean, appointed by the Secretary of State, will review Warrington’s local plan over the course of four weeks from September 6. During this time, they will hear from citizens, stakeholders and council on the development strategy document.

The first two weeks of hearings will be held at the Warrington Conference Center at Halliwell Jones Stadium. The third week will take place in the council chambers of Warrington Town Hall. The final week will take place virtually.

At the end of the hearings, the inspectors will share if any changes need to be made. The council will then present the local plan to the full council for adoption.

If all goes according to plan, the council said the local plan could be adopted by fall 2023.

Warrington Borough Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden described the government hearings as a ‘milestone’ for the local plan.

“It is a legal government requirement for every local authority to have a workable local plan, and we have worked hard to develop a plan – listening to the views of local people – that meets the needs of our borough,” Bowden said. .

“I hope the inspectors, once they have reviewed all the evidence, will agree that this plan suits Warrington.”

As well as the push for 14,688 homes by 2038, other key aspects of Warrington’s proposed local plan include providing 780 acres of employment land to meet economic needs.

The local plan includes requirements for residential developments of 10 or more homes to include seniors housing as well as affordable housing. In Inner Warrington, these programs are expected to provide 20% affordable housing, while the figure would be 30% elsewhere.

The 1,430 acres of land proposed to be removed from the greenbelt includes Fiddlers Ferry, which is expected to have a minimum of 1,760 homes and approximately 250 acres of job development. Peel NRE purchased the former power station site earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.